“Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters” is the retelling of the classic that children and adults have adored for centuries but with a twist. The two characters have now grown up to become witch hunters. The concept was interesting and yet a lot depended on the execution to make the most of the concept. Thankfully we have a film in our hands which is brimming with action, has decent special effects and is filled with loads of good looking people doing some good looking action. The 3D though underused does help to convert a few sequences from ordinary to decent. More on that later.
The story begins with young Hansel and Gretel ending up at the witch’s house after being abandoned by their parents and being attracted by the house which is practically made of toffees and candies. Once inside, the duo realize what they had got into. After a fierce altercation, they are able to destroy the witch. Many years after the episode, Hansel and Gretel who are witch hunters now, are summoned to a sleepy village where children have been missing and the local authorities think that it is the handywork of the witches. Once in the village, Hansel and Gretel face off against more than one witch and the supreme leader of them all, Muriel (Famke Janssen) as she tries to sacrifice a large number of children and rip apart Gretel’s heart in order to achieve a special power which would render her immortal.
The film has a brief runtime within which it packs in a lot of content. The story revolving around the witch hunt, the story of Hansel and Gretel’s past and also the love story brewing up between Hansel and another good hearted witch Mina(Pihla Viitala) keeps alternating throughout the narrative to keep the audience interested and engrossed at all times. The action pops up always at the right moments and they unfold for the right amount of time. Every action sequence is wonderfully choreographed and watching it in 3D will easily elevate the look and feel of the intensity of the action as it unfolds at a breakneck speed.
The fight with the first witch that the duo encounters after landing up in the village is done superbly. The climax though haphazard to a certain extent is still done well. As our heroes run through the forest after the witches, the space and the fauna of the forest is brought beautifully to life by the 3D which is used efficiently in these sequences. I also enjoyed the fight with the horned Witch. She truly looks ugly and her presence will send goosebumps down your spine. Well if she is ugly, we have Gemma Arterton playing Gretel who is a picture of beauty. There is something very alluring about her which is bound to strike a chord with the audiences. She maintains a straight face all throughout the film and hardly laughs in a sequence or two and yet exonerates oomph and charm in every sequence that she is a part of.
The same can be said about Jeremy Renner who is playing Hansel with the same charm and charisma that he played the Hawkeye with. The fact that he wields the gun just as efficiently as he wielded the bow only makes him a better entertainer and the film a better bet at being enjoyed. Famke Janssen is perfectly hate-able as the witch with whom the entire cast has to contend with. She also holds keys to Hansel and Gretel’s past which she unveils towards the end. The film isn’t too heavy on logic and we least expect it to be. This was always supposed to be pure eye candy and the team behind it does well to make it exactly that.
Hansel & Gretel will entertain you with its straightforward story, wonderful visuals, good looking cast and nail biting action. If you want more from it, than probably you have turned up for the wrong film. Enjoy it for what it is.