Review: Hansel and Gretel (2013)

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Grown-up movie versions of classic children's stories.  Is this becoming a thing now?  First we had Red Riding Hood.  Then coming up, a Wizard of Oz movie.  Now, we have Hansel and Gretel.

Before anything else, I have to get this out of the way: I will watch anything with Jeremy Renner in it.  Anything.  I didn't go to the premiere for this movie because it was raining and it was rather a hectic week for me.  I love Renner and Gemma Arterton but I simply had no energy.  And it was raining.  Sans the rain, I still would've braved it.

So the story opens up with the story of Hansel and Gretel that we know and love.  Their father leads the children deep into the woods and leaves them there.  Instead of following a trail of rocks or crumbs back home, they go straight into finding the witch's house made of candy.  Following the canon of the Brothers Grimm story, they managed to escape by slaying the witch by pushing her into her own oven.  From there, Hansel and Gretel become renowned witch hunters - complete with leather costumes, crossbows, and shotguns.  Don't you just love it when a dark and grim premise turns into something ridiculous in a snap?

But no, stick with it.  It's a really fun movie.  I loved how silly it was.  And I mean really silly.  And yet it never laughed at its own jokes.  There's this one running joke that had me applauding.  I mean, if you love the original story, that joke will make perfect sense.  Acting-wise, it wasn't the best but it worked.  I mean, treat it as a parody movie... slightly over-the-top and just plain silly.  Famke Janssen sold the evil witch role as always.  Gemma Arterton being bad ass is a nice change from her damsel in distress roles.  And a shirtless Jeremy Renner is awesome, of course.  I wasn't fond of the "modernized" dialogue that much but remember, this is an MTV production... the more f-bombs, the better.

I should say though that for famous witch hunters, they're not really that skilled in combat.  Only a handful of their gunshots found their targets and they were beat up by villains more than the other way around.  But they did get the job done in the end.  They never lost their cool.  The movie felt long but not in a boring kind of way.  Like I said, it was fun.  Just don't take it so seriously.