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Movie review: “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters”

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“Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” stars Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner as paranormal bounty hunters. Photo courtesy of blastr.com

The classical tale of two children lost in the woods took a dark but contemporary twist in “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters”, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as paranormal bounty hunters.

After defeating an evil witch who lured them into a gingerbread house as children, Hansel and Gretel grew up to be bona fide witch hunters in this action packed film, written and directed by Tommy Wirkola.

After years of hunting down and exterminating witches, these siblings assumed they knew everything they could about their wicked prey and about their own past. The pair quickly discovered this to be untrue when they were hired to find a witch who kidnapped children from a village.

As they searched for and discovered the creature responsible for the kidnapping, a witch called Muriel, played by Famke Janssen, the duo realized that the abducted children were part of a much bigger scheme that would give dark witches a huge advantage over good.

When Hansel and Gretel confronted Muriel and her evil plans, the siblings gained insight into the mysterious question of why their parents abandoned them and how they gained immunity against the powers of dark witches.

“Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” definitely does not lack in action packed fighting scenes. With an arsenal of lethal weapons to pack a serious punch, and a take-no-prisoner attitude in combat, Hansel and Gretel proved they could carry their own in a fight with witches.

Some of the weapons that were used to dispatch of witches were: a crossbow, a machine gun, a handmade stun gun, a retractable rifle and a grappling hook.

Renner and Arterton appeared to demonstrate satisfactory fighting moves, but the rapid speed of the action scenes sometimes caused the actual movements to become blurry. At times it was difficult to absorb every action that occurred.

Throughout the film, Hansel and Gretel hung, decapitated, dismembered, stabbed and generally beat their prey into submission.  The gory scenes are abundant, and for those who enjoy gory films, this movie will not disappoint.

If the sight of blood makes you weak, it is not recommended to see this movie. There were many scenes that had blood spraying everywhere.

It definitely could be argued that the effects of “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” were designed to please audiences wearing 3D glasses, but the specialized effects were subtler than in other movies.

The effects were good, not necessarily blockbuster material, but certainly better than a B rated movie. Overall, the effects were agreeable, whether a viewer was watching the digital or the 3D version. The real unique quality of the film was the modernization of the classic fairy tale.

Will Ferrell, the famous actor and comedian, was the co-producer of this film, and it to no surprise, the film contained humor. “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” has slipped in present-day wit into a classic story.

An example of this wit was hand drawn pictures of the missing children stuck to old-fashioned milk jugs and a star struck fan of the witch bounty hunters asking the duo for their autographs. This subtle humor made the film easier for the modern audiences to relate to.

The movie also had modern language and dialogue sprinkled throughout the film, which at times could detract from the film.

Though the modern concepts spread throughout the film made the movie humorous, having language too futuristic for the fairy tale time period could be considered annoying to history savvy viewers.

Throughout the film, characters used very present-day curse words and slang words, such as awesome. Though this is not uncommon for action movies, it could cause viewers to lose faith in the authenticity of the fairy tale setting.

Although the film had some inconsistencies, questionable effects, and an abundance of gore, I would recommend this movie for anyone who loves an adventurous story line, action packed fighting scenes, bold characters and hidden humor.