Every year, Hollywood nourishes viewers with new trends in cinema, whether it's post-apocalyptic, pseudo-documentary, or the new vision of well-known characters - the movies that make money are created one by one. We can say the same about the motive of classic fairy tales. In this case, thanks to Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola, best known by 2009 black horror comedy Dead Snow, the Hollywood presents the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale interpretation.
It's a film with many special effects, constant action and witty replicas of actors will not allow feeling boredom for the cinema lovers. This movie will even be able to bring the viewers closer to the wonderful motive of a fairytale in the film.
Hansel & Gretel, a bizarrely updated twist on the fairy tale, is the perfect example of a movie that is both intentionally and unintentionally funny at the same time. - Annalee Newitz, io9.com
In the fairytale of Brothers Grimm Hansel and Gretel find themselves in the forest, brought by their father, who obeyed the order of the stepmother to get rid of children. Brother and sister fall into the trap of a witch, whose hut is built of sugar and baked goods.
The old witch wants to eat the children. But saving their own lives, children killed the witch, stole her jewelry and escaped. This story was heard in childhood by everybody. Let's see how it's presented in the movie. The action in the genre of dark fantasy with a good portion of black humor, this kind of movie is waiting for all fans of bloody slaughters. Director Tommy Wirkola offered his original version of the continuation of the fairytale story.
The Short Story Of The Movie
Brought to the dark forest and left alone for the witches' grace, the brother Hansel and sister Gretel, by the miracle, avoided a terrible death from the hands of an old black witch.
From the day when the Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) killed a witch who had lured them into the honey cakes home, passed fifteen years old. The children grew up and decided to engage in professional witch hunting.
With each passing year, the brother and sister have gained more and more experience and have become revengeful witch hunters with prominent professionalism and ability to skillfully make a trap for witches.
A special feature helps the brother and sister to accomplish their work greatly: for inexplicable reasons, the spells of witches do not work on them.
One day, the mayor of Augsburg is giving a new task to witch hunters - Hansel and Gretel have to release the city from the extremely ugly witch Muriel (Famke Janssen), who intends to sacrifice the children of the city at an upcoming two-day witch congress.
Hollywood films: HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS - Photo credit: collider.com
Every village tells legends about them, and every witch is afraid of them, so when they come to take a new work again, the brother and sister do not even know what danger can quickly threaten the whole living world. It looks, this should not be a difficult task for the brother and sister, but witch hunters must carry on their task with the brutal Sheriff Berringer (Peter Stormare), who is gaining more power in Augsburg and leads the crazy witch hunt.
The Content Of The Movie
Hollywood has still not diminished the fashion for classical fairy tales, especially when we can remember that since the excellent Terry Gilliam's fairy tale movie The Brothers Grimm created in 2005 has passed some years. Some fairy tales movies are fascinating to the eye, as it was with Tim Burton's Alice's Wonderland, while others just frustrate viewers- the dark interpretation of Red Riding Hood in 2011.
This time, the audience will be able to enjoy a classic fairy tale movie about unlucky children who fell into the witch's grace. The very interesting step of the creators is to redraw the presentation of the storyline at their discretion.
Everything starts from the moment when Hansel and Gretel destroy the first Witch they met. The vision of the future is rather vague for both children, but the goal, however, is to help others win and they become the witches hunters. Everything would be great, but due to the vibrant fantasy of scenarios, the main idea of the classic fairy tale is abandoned, and it is blocked by a completely different start context of the adventure.
Fairy Tale Movie HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS - Photo credit: twitter.com
It can be said that from the known and sometimes frightening Brothers Grimm fairy tales, only the names of the characters remained. Do not need to look at it maliciously. However, it's sometimes nice to see something new, not just accurate screenshots. You will see a lot of action, interesting battles, witty dialogues, brutal scenes.
Some places sometimes not please our eyes. It can be noticed the typical mistake of a banal script - everything happens chaotic and without any deeper purpose to express more clearly some of the effective scenes. It obvious the film is more oriented towards adolescents than older people since most of the battle scenes face the logical balance of actions, which allows you to relax and observe the beautiful images.
The storyline line is not boring at all - it's one of the most enjoyable trump cards. But a few details complement the film's strangeness. Most funny is the disgusting view of the witches since their image does not remind the powerful sorcerers.
It is great that each of the many witches is different; it's fun to see versatility. It's interesting just what the creators wanted - to make the witches an object of the laugh or that the viewers would feel disgusted, or maybe both feelings were in their plans?
HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS - Photo credit: laquetodove.blogspot.com
The movie is livened up by the daring jokes of the heroes who look quite pleasant and, most importantly, there are no sentiments - perhaps in only a few places, Hensel loses his self-control, but it is just a momentary weakness.
Looking at this movie, one can generally say that the developers provide a rather fun adventure, which in the future may be a sequel, which would be good - however, sometimes the screens also need something new, not only the superpower of Predators and other comic characters.
No horrible moments there, but the fights came out great! Do you like action movies? Here you will surely find what to look at! The main characters in the face of Gretel and Hansel clearly studied in the school of hand-to-hand combat, and the witches are fighting and running away in such a way that Jackie Chan can relax. The fights were filmed in the best traditions of American cinema of the 2000s. But I wonder where, in their medieval years, hunters found those perfect weapons: machine guns, grenade launchers, pistols, and so on.
In addition to the main plot line - to kill all witches - the film reveals completely earthly values. Here is both love and unselfish help from secret friends, and intrigue in the form of Hansel and Gretel parents' story.
Something new, supernatural or something that the viewer did not see yet - NO! It's banal, predictable, but fresh, dynamic, and it's interesting.
In general, the film is full of fragments of bodies teared up by bullets, bloodstreams, and broken corpses - like in many other films that have recently come out from under the digital Hollywood pen. True craftsmanship is not to make it hollow, disgusting, forcing the viewers to take their eyes away from the screen. Another plus to creators - they succeeded.
I think it’s natural that in that world, there would be all different kinds of supernatural beings and creatures, it’s just in a way, it’s a fairytale world and we’re living in it, so there are no limits to where we can go. - Tommy Wirkola
It is a very predictable but very dynamic film with a huge number of collisions of good and evil.
While reading movie HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS review, check QUERLO CHAT: What kind of movies do you like?
The Technical Side Of The Movie
The film was primarily focused on the visual side, and therefore the greatest efforts are seen in the special effects plan. A high-quality 3D space gives you more magic during viewing, and action scenes add charm - how can you not enjoy the view of the woman at a machine gun, destroying the witches' flocks?
A dynamic soundtrack, fun and fast compositions enhance the atmosphere as if we watch one long music video. A similar effect was only in the recently released fantasy film Remember.
One minus, however, that the several scenes could be presented more effectively, from a different angle, especially when it was shown the catches of the forest witches. But the eyes and ears just relaxed after such a work that was almost qualitatively done.
Support Women Empowerment: HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS - Photo credit: topsimages.com
The scriptwriter is also Tommy Wirkola. With the scenario, of course, Tommy succeeded. Opinions about the film over the years have come different, but indifferent viewers did not really exist! He managed to present the old fairy tale absolutely new!
At one time I was very interested in the style of steampunk, and, precisely because of the mention of this style in the description of the Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, could not pass by. The film does not have many attributes of steampunk, but they interestingly fit into this story and quite well complement the overall atmosphere.
The colors are gloomy, with the presence of dark tones of green, black, scarlet red. Very atmospheric! The witches are funny; they look unusual, ominous, frightening.
The Collective Work Of The Actors
Jeremy Renner in the role of Hansel
Talented Jeremy Renner who just in a few years became an actor of the highest level, has performed his character very well, but there is only one trouble: the film itself is not worth the actor's level. Probably I cannot be 100% objective about Renner, since he is one of my favorite actors, and I do not miss any movie with him.
In the performance of Jeremy, the character of Hansel turned out to be a harsh, uncompromising, and formidable hunter, but merry and with weaknesses. The actor played his role perfectly, the character turned out to be memorable, but somewhat resembled Renner's character from The Avengers.
Jeremy Renner - Photo credit: imdb.com
Gemma Arterton in the role of Gretel
After watching this movie, there is a distinct impression that for the role Gretel initially there was no requirement for any particular or just adequate actor's game, but just needed a beautiful, physically well-shaped girl, and this demand Gemma Arterton meets perfectly. I liked the way she conveyed all the emotions of her character!
She appeared to be more brutal than her colleague, but she not only looks more efficient in the shots but also radiates sexuality at every turn.
Gemma Arterton in HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS - Photo credit: imdb.com
I can't even imagine who would be better suited to the role of Hansel and Gretel than Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton respectively. I believe that they just superbly coped with their roles. Their facial expressions and enough graceful movements - it was charming.
Famke Janssen - this actress has played the role of leader of the witch. Her performance is great. Her character is a daring, fatal, ugly, and self-confident witch. And it feels right away. Although she did not want to be filmed in this film, her character turned out to be bright and memorable. The actress of the Dutch origin was looking somewhat too young at her fifty; apparently, some kind of spells help to keep such a great look.
And Peter Stormare, always unsatisfied, is enough funny. He is a charismatic person - what can we say more?
Although the film does not have an enduring value, thanks to such wonderful actors it becomes great entertainment for everyone.
While reading movie HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS review, check QUERLO CHAT: Do you support women empowerment?
- An unusual look at the old story! The fairy tale about getting lost in the terrible and wild forest of brother and sister was filmed several times in different genres, but no one was filming the way Tommy Wirkola showed it.
- A well-chosen actors cast, which can attract the viewer by the names itself and very high-quality performance of actors.
- Very beautiful and bright view! And if to watch in HD quality, then generally you get a solid visual pleasure. Filmed professionally and qualitatively. Operator Michael Bonvillain has put many efforts. It should be noted that Bonvillain's experience in cameraman work is very serious: he has filmed more than two dozen films.
- The atmosphere of the mystical Middle Ages is easy at first, but it heats up and becomes gloomy with every minute. It's like in classic horror films. The feeling that something awful is coming up, the fascinating music is greatly enhanced. In general, the soundtrack created by the composer is very strong!
- Unusual, and pretty black humor.
- The work of makeup professionals was clearly at the height.
Hollywood film HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS - Photo credit: geekyapar.com
- For many viewers, minus is that there is a rather large abundance of bloody scenes in the fairy tale movie.
- The open brutality of some scenes and the absolute different atmosphere reigning in this film compare the atmosphere of fairy tales of Brothers Grimm. I cannot even compare this movie with other adaptations of classic fairy tales. Although there is a small reference to another fantasy film - a fairy tale Brothers Grimm, which was fun.
- Excessive emotionalism of some secondary heroes, who played very modest roles.
Presentation Of The Main Protagonists
A couple of protagonists are elegant in all respects. They are brutal, merciless, lucky, incorruptible, and always come out dry from the water (unharmed from the battles with the witches). The characters are chosen to attract both female and male audiences.
Fairy Tale Movies - Photo credit: imdb.com
They both are charming and cute. Jeremy with a non-standard and yet memorable face. Gemma Arterton is also good - a belligerent, harsh, volitional woman with an iron character. Oh, how cool she fights down the sheriff.
Hansel and Gretel turned out to be daring, confident in their victory, without a shadow of doubt and without fear. What else is needed to fight the witches is not a tempered character?
On The Final Note
HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS is a fantasy action movie based on the motifs of the fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel" by the Brothers Grimm and is its original continuation.
With a lot of loopholes in the storyline, but with a very dynamic atmosphere, great action, high-quality special effects, and a well-chosen cast of actors, it becomes a memorable adventure entertainment experience.
The film backs up the novelty of the exposition of the famous fairy tale and spectacular battle scenes. The pack of all fights is made clearly and competently. Watch is not boring. And at the same time, it's not scary, so you can fall asleep after viewing the film with a calm soul and not feverish brains.
Famke Janssen, Jeremy Renner, Pihla Viitala, and Gemma Arterton at an event for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - Photo credit: imdb.com
Summary: I liked it! This is an action film with elements of horror and a quite good fairy tale. I recommend the watching for the fans of Brothers Grimm films. Relax, throw out everyday problems from your head, take the tea or coffee cup in your hands and just enjoy the process. Let's not look for the flaws of the film!
Now there are no witches anymore, but there are worse people, so where are you, Hansel and Gretel? When you will clean at least a little bit this world - not terrible and colorful at the first glance.
My rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 15% ( of 10)
Critics average: 5.3/10
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