Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

January 28, 2013

Or as we like to call it in my household, Hawkeye and Gretel.

The short review:  It passed the Bechdel Test, and Gretel wore sensible flat-heeled boots the entire time!  Also, that shirtless Jeremy Renner scene I requested turned out mighty fine.

The longer review:  I would not have gone to see this at all if not for Jeremy Renner in leather.  I figured I’d suffer through another terrible Van Helsing-like mess of a movie, but hoped that Jeremy Renner in leather would be enough to get me through.  But you know what? I’m really glad I saw this.  This thing is delightful.  Darkly campy in a totally intentional, self-aware way.  There’s a brief, quite wonderful visual gag right after the opening credits that’s just too good to give away, everyone in the theater laughed, and it clearly stated the filmmakers’ intention with this movie:  it’s going to be funny, you are allowed to laugh.  And then they delivered.  The scene with Ben the witch hunter groupie in the tavern?  (“That’s kind of weird,” Gretel says.  “Kind of creepy,” Hansel adds.)  So awesome.  The action is fast-paced and gross and reminded me very much of early Sam Raimi, which counts as a good thing in my book.  And there’s a plot!  Holy crap, a plot that makes sense!  Things are set up!  There is payoff!  The movie is no longer than it needs to be!

In fact, the more I think about it, the more this feels like a throwback to the kind of cheesy 80’s fantasy movie I loved so much.  Our badasses collect a band of endearing allies in their quest to defeat, in a very straightforward manner, the very straightforward bad guys.  There are a lot of jokes and quirks, done intelligently and intentionally.  No angst or machinations shoehorned in in an attempt to seem deep and serious.  Good actors having straight-up fun.  And Gretel.  Oh, my.  She’s wonderful, an old-school kick-ass heroine from the days of Xena and Valeria, before the Angelina Jolie and Kate Beckinsale versions of the kick-ass heroine made it all about sex more than action.  I wasn’t much of a fan of Gemma Arterton, but I am now.  SHE WORE SENSIBLE BOOTS!!!

Seriously, it’s the little things.

(Update:  It’s also been pointed out to me that Gretel wears her hair pulled back and out of her face the whole time.  Double sensible!)

Bonus G.I. Joe commentary:  they ran a special long preview of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and I have a couple of comments.  Love Snake Eyes’ new outfit.  Love the gonzo straight-from-the-comic-book bits.  (Seriously, the Cobra banners on the White House?  I needed that.)  Hate the 3-D conversion.

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13 Responses to “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”

  1. missraye Says:

    I was stuck at home this weekend.. but yes, i also only wanted to see it for Renner in Leather… :D Now I know I won’t hate myself after seeing it :D

  2. ArcLight Says:

    Since my work schedule changed I just haven’t been in the mood to go see movies much but I just may have to brave a weekend audience to see this based on your review. Sounds much better than I expected.

  3. Janice Says:

    This movie made both hubby and I laugh. I would love to see it again and again and again. I will actually buy the DVD when it comes out – and my goal for this year was NOT to buy too many DVDs.

    I even smacked hubby’s arm when I noticed Gretel’s hair pulled back. That was such a huge plus for me.

    I will say that one part of Hansel’s character bugged me, but since I don’t want to spoil it for others, I won’t say anything here. You probably know what I’m referring to, though.

  4. Carrie V. Says:

    Janice, if it’s the part I’m thinking of, yeah, my thought was “But it doesn’t work like that…” But it was so hilarious within the steampunkish tech and overall framework of the story, I decided I didn’t care.

  5. WanabePBWriter Says:

    First off Happy B-day Hope it was a good one. Thanks for the great H & G review; I was not even thinking of seeing it till your review.
    I won book raffle pack at CoSine Saturday, I got “Steel”,” Kitty goes to War” and “Kitty and the Midnight Hour”.
    Last night 10PM to 2AM up for work at 7, if you ever have a chance on new printings chapter eight needs a warning statement * Warning 40 pages long.* any way Loved it. Cheers.

  6. Janice Says:

    We did not have the G. I. Joe preview. I am sad now.

  7. Janice Says:

    Oh, I forgot. The pictures on the milk bottles almost made me spit out my drink.

  8. Carrie V. Says:

    That’s the visual gag I was talking about. So good it made me sit back and think, okay, these guys know what they’re doing, I can relax.

    And thanks for the b-day wishes!

  9. Janice Says:

    I’m not good with spoilers, am I? You can delete that post, if you want! ;)

  10. Thomas Stacey Says:

    Happy Birthday, Carrie! Hope you have a wonderful day!

  11. Doruk Says:

    I don’t know if I can get over the way they are pronouncing Hansel and Gretel, but I’ll try.

  12. ArcLight Says:

    Looks like I might be free tomorrow – do I pick 3D or not 3D?


  13. I had intended to wait for rental because of the rotten tomato 17% rating, thanks for the review, loved the movie, and sent a few friends.


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