ReviewWriter: Wilson ChongWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Van Helsing” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”
The latest adaptation of fairy tales on the big screen gives us "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters". It is one of the classic Brothers Grimm tales about two children who outsmarted a witch living in a house made out of candy.
This action fantasy horror film is directed by Tommy Wirkola, famous for his work in "Dead Snow", a 2009 Norwegian zombie comedy film. "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" is filmed in 3D and viewers can expect a lot of items bouncing at them from the screen.
The story of the film is barely recognisable to those who've read the original fairy tale. The film starts out with how the tale originally is until the epilogue takes a different spin by not letting the children reunite with their father. The story branches out from that point onwards by introducing Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Artetton) as adults. The script takes great liberty in interpreting and expanding the fairy tale to fit into the action genre. Nobody could've have expected the plot twists found in the story.
So now, Hansel and Gretel grow up to become expert witch hunters, killing many of them on their way to the town of Ausburg, Germany. Many children have been kidnapped in the area by a group of witches led by Muriel (Famke Janssen). Muriel wishes to create a fire-resistant potion by sacrificing the kidnapped children during 'Blood Moon', a rare natural phenomenon. They also have to deal with a power-hungry Sheriff Berringer (Peter Stormare) who doesn't like interference from outsiders.
The actors do a great job portraying orphaned siblings who only have each other. You can really feel the bond shared by them on screen. Their chemistry extends even to their fighting scenes, which looks a lot like synchronized swimming. It was indeed a smart move to cast Gemma Arterton, a Bond Girl from the film "Quantum of Solace" and Jeremy Renner, an Avenger from the film "Marvel's The Avengers". The character Hansel feels a lot like the character Han Solo from the "Star Wars" films.
The special effects and makeup team for this film deserves a lot of praise for their workmanship. Each antagonist can truly be identified as a witch at a glance. Each of them dresses and looks distinctively ugly. The film even gave each witch their own style instead of mass-producing a particular style for every minor antagonist. Like the film "Harry Potter", each witch's wand is different from the others. It is this attention to detail which other filmmakers should emulate.
The depiction of spells and guns are incredibly realistic. The witch hunter tools apply many modern technologies despite the setting of medieval Germany. The special effects team did a great job in the action scenes when bullets come head-to-head against spells.
The intended audience for this film is strictly adults only because of the profanity, nudity and gore. The film has one brief nude scene between Hansel and Mina (Pihla Viitala) in a pool.
There is plenty of gore whenever Hansel and Gretel confronts a witch. The amount of gore on-screen is enough to traumatize any children. In conclusion, give this film a chance if you like action-packed films. The amount of bullets used in the film is too high for the film to count as a children's tale.Cinema Online, 26 January 2013