Fairy tales are something that can be told over and over. Some stay true to the original tale, while others take on their own identity. It seems Hollywood is going after fairy tales again with examples like last year’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” and the upcoming “Jack the Giant Slayer.” Many of you know how well Snow White turned out, and I’m not yet sure if I’ll be seeing Jack. While not expecting much from the most recent fairy tale movie “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.
As many people know, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are siblings who are left alone in the forest. While trying to find their way back to civilization, they stumble upon a house made of candy. Of course being children, they are drawn to it, go inside, but unfortunately find themselves captured by a witch. However, they are able to kill the witch, and escape. And now comes the change in this tale. They grow up to become witch hunters.
Now this is 3D just the way I like it. There is blood, body parts, and everything else flying right off the screen. All of it is well timed within the story. Nothing is forced as many of the chainsaw moments are in "Texas Chainsaw 3D." It’s amazing how many of these 3D movies do such a good job with the 3D during the opening credits, but they don’t translate that effort to the rest of the movie. I’m glad that isn’t the case here. I almost feel like going back and seeing what this looks like on IMAX.
What else looks good in 3D... the witches. I was expecting some stereotypical looking witches, but that's not this time. These are more like mutant witches. There are big and small ones, fast moving ones, and even twins. The one thing they all have in common is that they are ugly, and the 3D really captures that.
The witches are all led by the evil witch Muriel (Famke Janssen). Muriel certainly makes a great villain. She shows no mercy trying to execute her plan to capitalize on the fabled Blood Moon. She also has an advantage that other witches don't, as she is able to be in human form. Famke puts on a strong performance in both forms.
Speaking of strong performances, Jeremy continues his growth in these action type roles, and Gemma isn’t half bad herself. Both are fun to watch as they battle the witches. And battle witches is what they do, as the movie is a lot more action packed than expected. There are also some twists and turns in the story, but if the audience is paying attention they shouldn't be taken by surprise. Most of all, this certainly isn't Hansel and Gretel the kids story. There is blood splattering, cursing, and even nudity.
So how surprised are you that I liked “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters?” I can’t help it, the 3D is just the way I like it. The witches are a lot more creative than I figured they would be. While some of the twists aren’t too hard to figure out, it’s good to see the story isn’t completely predictable. It’s not necessarily the movie’s horror elements that I liked most, but that the action keeps coming. Regardless, I give this movie 3.5 pools of blood. Crazy right?