Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Movie Title: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Year Released: 2013

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 38min

Genre: Fantasy, Action, Comedy, Horror

Director: Tommy Wirkola

Writer: Tommy Wirkola

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Pihla Viitala, Thomas Mann, Derek Mears, Robin Atkin Downes, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Joanna Kulig, Bjørn Sundquist, Rainer Bock

Review: Fifteen years after Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) defeated the wicked witch who planned to have them for her dinner, the siblings have come of age as skilled bounty hunters. Hell-bent on retribution, they have dedicated their lives to hunting down and destroying every witch still lurking in the dark forests of their homeland. As the notorious blood moon approaches, the siblings face a great evil -- one that could hold the secret to their terrifying past.

If you're like me, you probably took one look at the title of this movie, rolled your eyes, and figured this movie was going to be awful. I'm here to tell you that you would ultimately be wrong. We often implore all of our readers to not judge a book, or a movie in this case, by it's cover. This review is no different, as Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is an hour and a half of non-stop, action-packed fun. While critics may tell you otherwise, this really is the perfect October/Halloween action movie. I'm a firm believer that not every movie that gets made needs to take itself seriously, and many times some of these cheesy disregarded films end up being well worth the watch. First and foremost, it is beautifully shot, using the vast mountainous and forest regions in Germany. It really feels like a fall movie, and being shot in Germany makes it feel authentic as that happens to be the setting for the original fairy tale. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton pull out all the stops to take down the dark witches one by one. With plenty of booby traps, roundhouse kicks, and flying bullets to keep you entertained from start to finish, this movie is unapologetically silly and bloody. The CGI isn't the best, but the witches are pretty gruesome looking, and while the violence is a tad cartoonish, there's still plenty of entertainment value. If you go into this film expecting a corny B-movie with a solid cast that delivers on all of the silly, over-the-top theatrics that one would expect from a movie called Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, then that's exactly what you shall receive. If you go in expecting an Oscar-worth screenplay, then you'll be sadly disappointed. I love a good action flick, and this film delivered that and more, with a spooky setting and an eerie cast of characters that made this the perfect movie to watch on a cold autumn morning!

Forewarning, here are a couple of important things to remember: One, never walk in to a house made of candy. And two, if you're gonna kill a witch, set her ass on fire.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The movie's cast featured two former Bond Girls, Famke Janssen from GoldenEye (1995) and Gemma Arterton from Quantum of Solace (2008), where the movies were made and released around thirteen years apart in the James Bond film franchise.


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