The Monocle – “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”

Directed by: Tommy Wirkola
Written by: Tommy Wirkola & Dante Harper
Released: January 25th, 2013
Theatre watched at: TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles

Was there a need for it? No. Was it in demand? No. Did it happen anyway? Yes. Movie business tip #32: If you have a script with a low asking budget and rising A-list celebs aimed as your leads, you will find a distributer who is interested in the easy returns (your script is probably crap though).  Your fifth favorite fairytale that you barely remember details of is now a live action Hollywood film! Yay! Were you hyped up when you first saw the trailer? Me either. However, since I was able to score some tickets to the premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood for a chance to see the gorgeous stars of the film Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner, I couldn’t resist. Did I mention the free popcorn and soda?

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I may have just established an implied hate for this movie already, and it’s still a bad film, but I have to admit…I actually enjoyed Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters a teeny-weeny bit! I know, it shocked me too, but the film finds a faint pulse from its two charming leads as well as some of the technical aspects behind its action sequences. The entire gimmick of this film is that it takes the classic children’s tale and spins it into a more metal, Sam Raimi horror-type of brew, and quite frankly I thought it could have used a heftier dose of any or all of the three. The story follows sibling witch hunters Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) as they try to stop the evil grand witch Muriel (Famke Janssen) from completing the Blood Moon ritual, a ceremony that grants the entire witch coven invulnerability to fire.

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There’s really not much to talk about with this one, it truly is a bad film that’s made strictly to try and entertain your naughty bits for those 90 minutes in the day you’re usually entertaining your naughty bits by other means. However, unlike most, it actually manages to briefly please on some accounts. With what they’re given, Renner and Arterton play these cussing, no bullshit bounty hunters with a slick charm that emanates during their respective moments of badass-ery. There’s something about a pretty, British woman who swears while holding an automatic bow gun that clicks with the left hemisphere of my brain. I just wish they had turned up the badass dial a little higher, because if you already have an R-rating you might as well add as many “fuck”s and “shit”s as you can. In all fairness they did compensate for this inadequacy with some intense moments of blood shed, which includes (but is not limited to): heads being smashed by a troll, bodies being diced up, and enormous gatling guns mowing down a coven of witches. It’s also noteworthy that most of the blood shed and stunts were done practically and therefore gain more bowtie juice.

Well, guys, that is all I really have for you with this one–it didn’t need to exist but we got it anyways. Luckily for the film, if you are looking for some extremely chill, not serious entertainment for the weekend and are a fan of Renner or Arterton, then this may just do it for you. Other than that, be sure to take your 90 and get productive! Oh, and here are some exclusive pictures of Peter Stormare who was also at the premiere (he plays a sheriff in the film), as well as an extremely pixelated shot of Gemma Arterton from a distance! Enjoy 😀

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Bow Tie Score - 2.5