I don’t know that I’m into adult fairy tales. I do enjoy True Blood and I watched the latest Alice in Wonderland film with glee, so a film about the infamous fairy tale duo Hansel and Gretel killing witches shouldn’t be too bad, right? Right.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a twisted fairy-tale that’s witty and enjoyable for an over 21 crowd. Hansel and Gretel (Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) have been transformed after their first run-in with the infamous witch who owns the house made of candy to entice children for her supper. Once the children escape her grasp (and bake her like KFC’s finest,) the duo embark upon a journey to become the greatest witch hunters, for pay, ever known.
Though Hansel and Gretel both have great killing prowess, they don’t count on Muriel (Famke Jannsen), a powerful, smoldering-hot, mega-witch who plans on casting a spell to make witches impervious to fire and thereby improving their odds for survival. The only catch is to do this Muriel needs, oh, a dozen of the villagers’ children and a special ingredient that will complicate and intertwine our heroes’ journey with the dark witch.
During this journey, Hansel and Gretel finally get questions answered that help them understand why their parents abandoned them, and why the duo cannot be harmed by any witch’s powers. Seemingly socially inept Hansel even meets a wickedly attractive love interest, Mina (Pihla Viitala), and learns that things are sometimes more than just black and white.
Though there might be layers to this film, don’t be mistaken, this is definitely an R-rated action flick, with an emphasis on action. I verified this with every head smash and splashy decapitation, along with the decadent, foul-mouthed, one-liners and the extensive ass-kicking.
Peering into a fairytale with new eyes, making it quirky and cheeky but fun is brilliant. This film is high-octane enough for action-purists but story-driven enough for those who don't love action. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is updated fairytale awesomeness that I can get on board with. The film opens today nationwide.