Almost Super: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Almost Super: Hansel & Gretel
I was somewhat caught off guard when I saw the trailer just a couple weeks ago. While the Avengers was my favorite superhero movie of all time, Hawkeye was the weakest part of the movie, and I hadn’t heard much good about The Bourne Supremacy, the trailer looked like a lot of fun. In the end, my expectations were mediocre at best. But while there were a few parts of the movie that went a little too far into ridiculous territory, it was generally a lot of mindless fun.
It gets the classic Hansel & Gretel out of the way pretty quickly without any of the breadcrumbs bit. Their parents send them away to the woods, they find a house made of candy, get captured by a witch who tries to fatten them up, and they end up tossing her in the oven instead to escape. The other part of the story that the movie continues on is that the witch’s magic doesn’t work on them, which helped them win, and that they became witch hunters, roaming from town to town and hunting down the animalistic witches.
For the most part, the witches feel a whole lot like ugly vampires. They have heightened strength and agility, and the power of compulsion to make others do what they want them to do. The main distinction is that the witches also have demonic looking faces that they can sometimes hide. The town has had a string of missing children, because of course witches eat children. The main thing is that this movie doesn’t take itself seriously, and when it gets going it is a lot of fun. And on top of that, there’s plenty of blood and gore that’s so over the top, it’s hilarious. Especially the big action scene towards the end. There’s witch parts flying everywhere. It occasionally rides the line between being enjoyably over the top and annoyingly silly but I enjoyed it more often than I disliked it.
As a bit of a spoiler, it turns out that Hansel & Gretel’s parents were both witches, not only that but the woman who was being accused by the town at the beginning of the movie really is a witch too, but is a good witch. There’s also some fairly cliched elements to the movie, like the young man who’s Hansel & Gretel’s biggest fan and wants to become a witch hunter as well, and a misunderstood troll. The kid doesn’t get a whole lot of screen time, he just gets to have a couple creepy fanboy moments as well as having his single moment of glory towards the end. The troll is the typical underling of the witches who is treated well by Gretel and ends up siding with her instead of the rest of the coven.
There’s not really a whole lot to get too deep into with this movie, none of the characters are particularly interesting even with the occasional twist thrown about here or there. The fight scenes are fun, but not too involved. I think the best part about it is the amount of blood that actually reminds me of Punisher: War Zone, but where the tone of War Zone was not right for me to get into the spirit of enormous amounts of blood flying everywhere, it was a little easier to get into the spirit with this lighter movie. The rather anachronistic weaponry bothered me a little bit. Even though I have a hard time pinning down when the movie is supposed to take place, aside from the “fairy tale” era, and I’m not a big expert on weaponry, but the guns felt a lot more modern than they should have been. I also had a hard time with the fact that Hansel had Diabetes, or as they called it “the sugar sickness” and had to take shots of insulin that they only referenced a couple times in the movie including a somewhat critical part towards the finale. The cast was also an interesting mix. I’d never heard of Gemma Arterton who plays Gretel, but I was surprised to recognize Peter Stormare as the Hansel & Gretel hating town sheriff, who I loved in Constantine, though he isn’t given a whole lot to do in this movie except keep getting beat up by Gretel before enacting his revenge. If you’re looking for an interesting and unique take on the Hansel & Gretel story, this isn’t the right place to look. But for a fun filled action gore-fest, you could do a lot worse than Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.