director Tommy Wirkola
TV’s Morticia Addams considered Hansel and Gretel juvenile delinquents who repaid the kindness of little old ladies by burning them alive in ovens.
Now just imagine those delinquents all grown up with fantastical weaponry. Yeah, these are the good guys.
As it started, I found myself vaguely wondering exactly what even attracted me to this film. Which is usually an internal foreboding that I’ve set myself for an unpromising hour and a half with the television and DVD player.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters hadn’t received all that good of reviews on its release. But by the end of the film, I was actually quite surprised to find that I kind of liked it. Lowering expectations can sometimes have unusual rewards.
Where Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) failed to pique my imagination, Hansel & Gretel somehow succeeded. It doesn’t hurt to have Gemma Arterton as the voluptuous leather-clad Gretel or the very beautiful Famke Janssen as the evil super witch villain. Or even the very gorgeous Finnish actress Pihla Viitala as a good white witch.
It turns out it also doesn’t hurt to have Swedish director Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow (2009)) at the helm of this R-rated action and gore film. And actually, maybe it’s the gore and the non-PG-13-ness of this film that made it surprisingly entertaining. Maybe it says something about me that watching Arterton unflappably quipping after being splattered in gore made me like her a little more.
Ah, lowered expectations…