Walking into Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, I didn’t have the greatest of expectations with a troubled production that pushed the release date back and with memories of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that had alarm bells ringing. So sat in my seat in brace position, ready for the worst and what preceded was 88 minutes of perfectly functional gory fun.
The premise is a great idea. Hansel and Gretel after their encounter with a witch as children, (as the title suggests) make a career of hunting green woman with pointy hats. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton star as the brother and sister duo and have fun strutting around the set, acting like they own the place with made up 18th century shotguns. Director of Dead Snow, Tommy Wirkola first mainstream Hollywood film is by the numbers but still maintains the squishy gory with a 15 certificate where you’d expect the studio to cut down the blood and the F-Bombs for a 12a, so it’s kind of satisfying to see this being unapologetic.
Peter Stormare turns up (as you oddly expect him to) as the pissed off sheriff who is not happy with the two bounty hunters stepping on his territory and Famke Janssen has fun hamming it up as the head witch blowing things up and splitting people in half. A few things could have been better however. The story feels like it could have done with a re-write and the dialog feels clunky, but for a bog standard evening at the flicks, you could do a lot worse..