Hansel & Gretel – everyone knows the fairy tale about these siblings, where they came across a house made of candy in the forest, ate some of it, then went inside and encounted a witch who, after an altercation, came off worst by way of ending up in a furnace.
However, a lot of people don’t know that, later on in life, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) became witch hunters by profession – even if it wasn’t by choice – and they track them all over the world, bounty hunter-style, until they come across the biggest baddie yet, Muriel (Famke Janssen), with Hansel being distracted at first by the beauty of Mina (Pihla Viitala, bottom pic), a young woman mistakenly identified by Sheriff Berringer (Peter Stormare) as a witch. Later characters include a huge troll named Edward (played by Derek Mears, voiced by Robin Atkin Downes) and wannabe witch hunter Ben (Thomas Mann).
What followed was a film which wasn’t exactly memorable other than the fact I remember there weren’t many scenes outstaying their welcome in the brief 88-minute running time, as well as some moments which gave me a laugh, but there are a fair number of scenes in the film that just wash straight over you. Apart from that, the 3D was well done – which isn’t always the case for one where the 3D is applied in post-production, as G.I Joe Retaliation proves, but one major criticisms is just how under-used Peter Stormare is. There’s also some good 3D effects in the end credits, too, although we could’ve done with more of that in the film proper itself.
Big fans of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters will, however, be pleased to learn that as the film’s budget was $50m, and how it only managed to take a smidgen over that in the U.S., the worldwide gross to date is around $150m so a sequel is on the cards.
Running time: 88 minutes
Released: February 27th 2013
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (ProRes 4:4:4)
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Producers: Will Ferrell, Beau Flynn, Chris Henchy, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick
Screenplay: Tommy Wirkola
Music: Atli Örvarsson
Hansel: Jeremy Renner
Gretel: Gemma Arterton
Muriel: Famke Janssen
Mina: Pihla Viitala
Edward: Derek Mears
Edward (voice): Robin Atkin Downes
Ben: Thomas Mann
Sheriff Berringer: Peter Stormare
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.