For some reason this movie and Snow White and the Huntsman seem like they came out at the same time, and they just seemed joined at the hip for me.
You can read about Snow White HERE, so Lets see how this one compares.
Ok, so Daddy comes in, grabs the kids- takes them out in the forest, and leaves them there. They find a gingerbread house, Gotta love how they sticking to the story. The witch keeps giving the Boy candy- and threatening the Girl when he wont eat anymore. The Girl is having to work on getting the oven hotter and hotter- but when time comes to cook the Boy, the kids outsmart her and she ends up in the oven.
Pretty role fairly tale so far.
Fast forward 15 years, and Hansel and Gretel have become major witch-hunting bounty hunters. Apparently there is a ton of them, but Hansel and Gretel are very good at it, since the witches’ spells don’t affect them for some reason. Its mentioned in passing, but you catch it. Hansel does have a bit of a weakness as all the candy made him a diabetic, not named but pretty obvious as they keep coming back to it. I don’t know how you score Insulin in the Middle Ages, but ok.
So apparently you have to beat on a witch for a time, wear her out, then you can cut off her head, stab her etc etc. Hansel and Gretel are not exactly good at the beating them up part of it, as they tend to spend a lot of time getting their asses kicked before coming back and winning.
So we get to Augsburg and several children that have gone missing, but the sheriff has found the cause, a blonde witch named Mina, and they are going to execute her. Hansel and Gretel ride in and Hansel determines she’s not a witch, and frees her, Berringer, the Sheriff is not happy, and thinks rightly so that the Mayor is backing Hansel and Gretel to break his hold on the town. Berringer hired thugs to go after the kids, and that night, a witch attacks them, (FEMKE!!) she comes out and kills them all but one- giving him a message to take to the City of Townsville. He runs back, and explodes while talking to Hansel and Gretel, kind of funny though, Gretel just stands there as she gets covered in goo, while Hansel moves a fan/writer in front of him as he sees it coming.
You can kind of see a funny dynamic here, Gretel is more than willing to take a hit to prove she can take it, and wants to show off how tough she is. Hansel is more than willing to show weakness if he can avoid a hit- and even though he’s tough, has no desire to show it.
So Hansel and Gretel go after the witches and get a few- get their asses kicked a few times, but eventually catch one of the main witches, Jackson, and find out that the coven is wanting to kidnap 12 kids, one for each month, and thats going to be used in some kind of ritual. The Dynamic Duo go to look for the town rolls to see what kids were born in the one remaining month, and then the witches attack!
Gretel gets her ass kicked, and is knocked out.
Hansel gets his ass kicked. He tries and take on Femke, thats not going to happen till the end, and Femke kills the one competent cop in the town in a pretty gruesome way. Femke frees her BFF and Hansel tries to stop them, then grabs a broomstick and gets dragged in the forest until she slams him into a tree.
Now we split the group up.
Hansel is found by Mina, who takes him to a spring to uh, heal his wounds, if you catch my meaning. Ok, she actually does patch him up, but they work on earning that R rating for other things than bloodsplatter.
Gretel is found and nursed back to health by Ben, our fan/writer/apprentice who decides to try and add rapist to his list. For some reason Double-0 Gretel lets him live with his thumbs intact, and goes into the woods to look for her brother.
Berringer is and few more guys catch up to her and after a beatdown, they tie her up and don’t imply a mass-sexual assault, they flat out SAY IT.
This is not your normal fairytale.
On the surface I kind of look at this movie as a generic Matrix-like movie with some lousy wire-fu and a layer of fat stuck on a fairy tale, using an R rating and blood splatter to gain a buck.
Oh yes it is. I’ve got some plot issues that I’ll talk about with the spoilers, but if you want a time-killin hour and a half, you could do far worse that this one. I first saw Hansel on 28 Days Later, but he did also play Hawkeye in a small film that came out a few years ago.
In this one he’s having to carry a larger load and he simply doesn’t have the comedic timing needed for the role, I would think they cut or changed a lot of what they intended and kept his best parts.
Gretel is pretty interesting in her own right. She tries to hard to be a bad-ass and it shows, but that’s what she’s trying to do in the role. Its a fine job. Her I can’t complain about.
FEMKE does her job, she’s hot and just evil enough to make me believe, of course, I just saw her in Goldeneye as well, and she was a lot better then. She doesn’t pull off the role that well, I hate to say it but when she’s just a grinning evil person she does great, but anything else and she just doesn’t have that twinkle in her eye that she’s enjoying it. She almost seems like she’s here for the outfits and the check.
The rest of the cast is pretty much a blur, and thats a fine thing, other than the Sheriff, we don’t care about any of them. There are dozens of actors that can play Ass-Hole, and he does a fine job of it. Mina isn’t bad, but the film doesn’t care about her, so neither should we, of course. Ben is there, but I just keep looking at him thinking, why didn’t Gretel just kill you? Are you supposed to be a love interest? Is she into molesters?
Of course, Hansel has his own love interest, but I’ll save that for after the spoilers.
Bottom Line: I liked this one more than Snow White, but its a time-waster, nothing more. Sometimes you can be limited by the source material, but they blew this one wide open, but didn’t do enough painting to flesh everything out.
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