Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Grim Fairy Tale

You know, everybody says that Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) isn't very good. I think they are right. I know, I'm the guy who likes Fantastic Four and Daredevil, who just praised After Earth. This one, not so much.

The story is in the title: Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are grown up now, and they travel the land hunting witches. The mayor of Augsburg hires them to get rid of the witches in the dark forest who have been stealing children, although the sheriff doesn't like them.

The opening gag - glass bottles of milk with pictures of the lost children tied to them - isn't really typical. There aren't a lot of anachronism jokes, although there are plenty of anachronisms. The time period is during the Middle Ages, but after the discovery of insulin. The witch hunters' weapons (other than fear and surprise) are crossbows and shotguns that never run out of ammo. Everybody talks in medieval-ese,  except Renner, who says things like, "Whatever you do, don't eat the fuckin' candy." You know, when Bob Hope played the one guy who talked modern in a pirate film, it wasn't funny, and it still isn't.

Yes, there is gore and fights and blood and monsters and anachronistic ass-kicking, all of which is good. Did I mention that I own The Brothers Grimm? Which isn't very good, but is better than H&G. I don't quite know why. Renner is a lot of fun, especially when he is grumpily avoiding the pretty Pihla Viitala. Arterton is a bit less defined - Her role wasn't much and she didn't do much with it, but she didn't do bad in the fights.

So, not a good movie. Not terrible, but probably not worth the 90 minutes.

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