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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters [DVD]
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Get ready for a twisted take on the classic tale as Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have turned pro, coping with the trauma of their childhood captivity by slaying witches for hire. But when the seemingly unstoppable bounty hunters meet their match in an enemy so evil, it'll take all their training, weapons and courage to survive.
- The Witching Hours
There are too many body parts flying around Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters to single out the tongue that has nearly been gnawed off in the cheek of its clever premise that fairy-tale heroes have grown up into savage supernatural mercenaries. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton strut around like 18th-century Avengers in leather uniforms, cursing up a storm of modern vernacular and bearing an inventive array of historically and mechanically impossible weapons such as grenades, crossbows, tasers, machine guns, and other weapons of witch-killing mass destruction. It's all a big joke of course, and one that the movie wears boldly and without a shred of irony. To quibble with its gaps in narrative logic or be righteously indignant that the script is often a slapdash mess is to miss the point that it's all meant to be a pile of plain old silly fun. After their childhood trauma at the gingerbread house, the famous Teutonic siblings are now in the business of killing witches full time, hiring themselves out to villages plagued by ugly, evil women wearing loads of scary makeup (Famke Janssen being the evilest and scariest) who feed on the townsfolk's kids. They do their job well and the movie spares no opportunity to show the effect of their fantastical arsenal with profusions of firepower, explosions, viscera, and disgusting cartoon violence, decapitation being the most favoured method of killing by the movie and the title characters both. As the latest in the trend of revisionist fairy-tale telling, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters takes the low road whenever possible, but it does so with a blithe spirit, a foul mouth, and the above-mentioned gore galore to create a B-movie soul that pities any sort of critical over-analysing. It's also pretty funny. There are several inspired offhand moments, such as the missing-children notices slapped on the sides of farmers' milk cans or the way Hansel has to make time for insulin injections because of the gingerbread overdoses he endured at the hand of the proto witch he and Gretel encountered as children. The art direction, wardrobe, and anachronistically engineered props that propel the story all have a cool steampunk design theme and make the silliness pretty hard to resist. Renner, Arterton, and Janssen aren't really taking things too seriously, which is fine because neither are we. This is the American debut of Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola, who brings the same playful gross-out sensibility he did to his 2009 feature Dead Snow. That one was about long-dormant Nazi soldiers rising up as zombies. What fun! It was a lark and a goof, just like Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. --Ted Fry
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Top Customer Reviews
Apparently they become professional witch hunters and are celebrated as heroes throughout Europe, vanquishing covens all over. When being hired by the mayor of a small town to track down a witch responsible for the abduction of eleven of their children, they stumble upon an evil that may be too powerful even for them...
If you like easy-to-watch action I think you'll like it. To me it felt a bit like Sleepy Hollow and Brothers Grimm, and even A Knights Tale, with the mix of medieval setting and modern-like weapons. Add to this some martial arts fighting between the lead characters and the witches, a troll crushing heads and swinging branches as big as a small tree, you have Hansel & Gretel in a nutshell!
For those of you who likes gore you'll be satisfied without a doubt. Not the splatter-movie amount, thankfully, but enough to make a point. I particularily liked the use of "real" blood and guts and no CGI-blood which seems to have become a trend in many action movies of late. Also the makeup effects were stunning and instead of using computers all the time they used it only when necessary which gave the movie a more gritty feel, in a positive way.
Renner and Arterton both did a good job portraying the two hunters. Peter Stormare convinced as the overzealous and sadistic sheriff, kind of like his role in Brothers Grimm, only evil. Famke Janssen also delivers a solid performance.
The Blu-Ray release was really good and sharp with some grain, which I think was added for a more filmlike look. The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack worked good as well with a lot of use of the surround speakers and a clear dialogue from the center.
Recommended to all who likes to be entertained for an hour and a half with fast-paced, gory, medieval fantasy action!
The critics hated it, I loved it - they really must've suffered a sense of humour bypass when reviewing the movie.
What I really can't understand though, with the amount of gore and violence this movie contains, is how it got a 15 rating?
5 years ago it would've been given an 18 certificate, which the sequel so rightly deserves. Bring it on!!!
The story....such as it is, revolves around them fighting a witch stronger than they have faced before and all the....shenanigans surrounding it.
This isn't a bad film at all. The story, such as it is, will not tax the smallest of minds or concentration spans as it flits along at a reasonably quick pace. The acting is as a film of this nature suggests and the high special effects budget looks quite good. Even the 3d isn't too bad.
Make no mistake though, this is most definitely only for people wanting a film to vegetate to and definitely has replay value as it really isn't anything memorable.
What happens next in the story may nowadays be considered suitable for kids. What happens next in this film version of it most definitely isn't.
Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters starts with the familiar opening. Then fast forwards to years later and shows us the siblings all grown up. And getting their own back on witches by having become bounty hunters who specialise in dealing with them.
Both have a tough no nonsense attitude. A reputation that precedes them. Weaponry that doesn't quite fit the time period. And American accents.
But when hired to deal with a witch who has taken children from a small town, they find there's a bit more to this job than meets the eye...
Horror meets Steampunk [something set centuries back involving fantastical technology in the style of the time. Like something written by Jules Vern] in a twisted take on the original tale. This tries to mix genres and succeeds at doing that pretty well. Horror fans will not be disappointed with the downright nasty witches. And the gory moments. The period setting and the more modern pop culture parodies - such as the duo having an admirer and being the subject of newspaper reports - go together quite well. All the steampunk stuff is pretty inspired also.
The two leads are pretty good. Jeremy Renner's character does remain stoic throughout but he does a good job of making him a tough action hero. Gemma Arterton does a decent American accent, and gets some good character development also.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived in a blank DVD box, disc was scratched and had a love film sticker over the hole. Didn't want to put it in my ps4. I watched it in my old PS3 in case it trashed the thing. Read morePublished 9 days ago by MrGarry2u
completely unnecessary swearing throughout, and the film gained nothing from it - shame could have a been a fun filmPublished 26 days ago by MR DANIEL BROWN
Enjoyable reselling (with a twist) of the brothers Grimm fairy tale.Published 1 month ago by Rilla7