Thursday, January 31, 2013

Film Review: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Sometimes it is a good thing to have such a terrible movie as Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, come out so early in the year.  That way, you don't have to spend the rest of the year, wondering if you will have a film bad enough - godawful enough - to top your eventual worst of the year list.  And trust me when I say that this movie could very well be that film.  The sad part is, there will probably come several films to take its place before year's end, but for now, we certainly have ourselves a perfectly fine, er, I mean perfectly rotten, place holder.  But seriously folks, this film really is just that bad.  Really.  Just awful.  How the producers and/or director (who, incidentally, is the same fella who gave us the much more enjoyable Dead Snow, the Norwegian, zombie Nazi film from a few years back), managed to get an actual flesh and blood Oscar nominee in Jeremy Renner, to do this film, even though there is no feasibly possible way this was one of those "the script was good, but the film just didn't work out" kind of things, is quite remarkable.  He's the new Bourne, and he's in The Avengers movies, there is no way he just needed the money.  He  seems like a pretty smart guy in interviews, so it could not be plain stupidity.  Perhaps it was blackmail of some sort.  Yeah, let's go with that.  Blackmail it must have been.

Seriously, for real this time.  This film, in the same vein as last year's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - though without the spark of whimsy that was that film - is the tale of the grown-up brother and sister of Grimm's fantasies.  They just happen to be a pair of kick-ass witch hunters now.  I suppose, psychologically speaking, when a witch tries to stuff you in her oven when you are in the formable years of childhood, you will probably have a thing against witches when you grow up.  Apparently, aside from this rabid hatred of witches, if you eat a candy house as a child, you will grow up with a severe case of diabetes, or as it is called here, the sugar sickness.  Whether such a sickness was even known when this film took place (one assumes the setting is somewhere in the 18th or early 19th Centuries), or whether there were injections for such, I really do not know - nor am I even interested enough in the film to bother looking up such a thing.  Perhaps a quick call to Wilfred Brimley would help explain things.  But, in the case of this ridiculous film - the somewhat high tech weapons that blend in with the crossbows and magic wands we can just toss off as a case of willing suspension of disbelief, and leave it at that - do we really need to know, or even care about any of this?  Probably not.

Granted, thanks to the casting of Famke Janssen as the head witch, the nerds and fanboys can imagine a battle between Hawkeye and Jean Grey, but otherwise, yeah, probably not.  Worst film of the year?  Like I said earlier, there will probably be worse.  Yes, it would take a substantially steaming pile of cinematic shit to top (or is that bottom) this one, but I have the utmost faith in Hollywood to do just that thing.  There are a lot of films I tend to avoid like the plague (Adam Sandler films, Tyler Perry crap, anything to do with a Wayans sibling), all of which would be healthy candidates for any worst of list, so this one may end up being the worst for me personally.  Then again, who knows what the next eleven months will bring.  After all, there is a new M. Night Shamalamadingdong film coming out later this very same year, so who knows.  As of right now though, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, is penciled in at number one in my tentative worst of 2013 list.  Only time will tell if it can be beaten.  My better judgement is saying that I hope this does not happen, but the darker recesses of my mind, almost feel it is a challenge to find such a film.  Perhaps I should stop listening to that part of me, and just hope for the best - which, to get one final dig in, is most certainly not what this film was, is, or ever will be.


Dan O. said...

Good review Kevyn. It's a total time-burner, and whether or not is a good thing, is all up to the viewer.

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