Premise: Hansel & Gretel just… …pretty much… …hunt witches… …the entire movie… (quietly coughs into hand) (stares back at you silently)
-There is a certain self-aware level of comedy in the film, but it only shows up every 10 minutes or so. These were always the best parts of the movie. For example, in one scene the siblings were explaining to an adoring fan about the methods of killing witches and other creatures at a bar. As they were saying all this crazy stuff; Hansel says under his breath, quiet enough that no one else in the film even acknowledges he says it, “Well, I mean, we hunt witches for a living, so nothing we do should really be considered that crazy, I guess…” and shrugs. But for the most part, it was overly serious.
-Along the same lines, it is pointed out in the film that ever since the witch made Hansel eat all that candy to fatten him up when they were kids, he now has to inject himself with medicine every few hours or he’ll faint. If you’re not picking up on that, Hansel has diabetes from eating the witch’s candy when he was a kid. Let me point this out one more time for you… In a $50 million dollar major Hollywood production of the Hansel and Gretel story in which they hunt down and kill witches, they took the time to acknowledge that Hansel has diabetes from eating candy. Is the diabetes a crucial part of the story? No, not at all. Is it kind of hilarious that they put it in there? Oh, absolutely.
-I saw it in IMAX 3D (because that was the first available showing), and they played a trailer for Jurassic Park 3D, in which the trailer not only looked great in IMAX, but the 3D actually looked kind of awesome. I already saw Jurassic Park last year in theaters at Studio Movie Grill, but I’m going to make a point to see it again in IMAX 3D in April. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
-Hansel and Gretel’s IMAX 3D treatment, however, was a waste of money. Didn’t get any benefit from the big screen or big sound system, and the 3D was legitimately terrible. If I tilted my head to the left or right even a little bit, I would start to see double images. That usually doesn’t happen to me in 3D features, so I’m going to assume it’s because this film had particularly crappy 3D.
-That was some really bad editing in parts.
-The witch fights were poorly choreographed. No spatial awareness, just a blur of crap.
-I suppose the need to shoot two arrows horizontally and simultaneously out of her special crossbow came in handy in one instance in this film, but I find it hard to believe that it is something that Gretel does often enough that she actually felt the need to install that feature on her crossbow… On that note, most of their special weapons were pretty dumb.
-Why was Famke Janssen’s witch the only witch that was able to turn into human form? She never even utilized this ability for her benefit… I guess it was a spell used to show the audience that she was played by Famke Janssen…?
-All of the witch make-up was rather uninspired. Heavy on the white paint; cracked face, stupid hair.
-Edward the troll looked like a bad Power Rangers villain.
-The movie hits a slow, expository halt at the end of the second act. I was a little tired going into this movie, and I may or may not have fallen asleep for a minute or two during this boring stretch. I got the gist of what they said, and frankly I didn’t care about any of the information provided.
Final Thoughts: For a movie that was made by MTV Films and Gary Sanchez Productions (Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s company [both were producers]) the film wasn’t all that cool or funny. By all means it should have been. My guess is that some studio executive got a little too handsy with the project, and tried to make it into the next Underworld franchise or something. When in reality, this film should have been destined to be a tongue-in-cheek spoof of every film that turned a fairy tale into an action film disaster. I mean, if you just add a question mark to the end of the title, then you’ve already got a perfect name for a comedy film that mocks everything that this movie actually ended up becoming: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters?
4 out of 10