Monday, February 25, 2013

Everyone's a Critic: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Boom!  Three in a row!

And this one was a keeper.  Blood and gore flying, leather pants wearing, 'sugar-sickness' jabbing awesomesauce.  Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

First time I have liked Jeremy Reiner too, hated him as Hawkeye (probably more to do with hating on Hawkeye in comparison to my boys Thor and Cap...and Loki and Tony, though he's too short).

Anyway, the premise is that Hansel and Gretel got a taste for witch hunting when they roasted the candy-house-dwelling-one in their youth.  They go about killing witches and getting paid for their troubles by grateful townsfolk.

The opening credits were really cool; burning paper with images rendered in old-timey type and drawings, floating about a parchment landscape...yeah it's cooler to see than describe.  The music was pretty fabulous throughout, too.

The fighting scenes were pretty cool, the siblings have to rely on their wits considering the witches are stronger and faster, and they still get their asses kicked, which was nice to see (slightly more realistic).  The witches all look horrible, except the 'grand high witch' whom can affect a normal human face when she wants to.  Plenty of gory blood splatter.

So the two rock up to a town in time to save a supposedly mortal girl (turns out later to be a 'good witch', and of course, bangs Hansel) from being burnt by the town, driven into a frenzy by the sheriff (Peter Stormare, whom I swear plays the same role in every fantasy film) and the loss of 11 children.  H&G are immune to the witches spells, and we find out this is because their mother was a grand high witch of the good order, and the bad witches need such a being's heart for their spell to render them immune to fire.

Of course the day is saved and Gretel makes friends with a Troll named Edward (If this was not a deliberate poke at a certain other fantasy film series I will eat my foot) and the three of them, plus a young fanboy, strut off into the future and many more glorious witch hunts 'n riches.

There were delightful little gems throughout - for example Hansel has the 'sugar sickness' from being fattened up by the initial witch for dinner, as a child.  He has to jab a 'potion' in his leg with a massive copper syringe and needle every time his mechanical watch ticks over.  We find out the children were abandoned in the wood by their father because the town discovered the mother was a witch (not caring for the fact that she was a good one) and burnt her, upon trying to save his wife, their father was killed also.  The principal witch hunt of the story takes the siblings back to their home town and they rediscover their old house, and their mothers witch cave underneath.  I wonder that Gretel has power inherited from her mother and Hansel none, that seems unfair - apart from the whole spell immunity thing, of course.

The costuming was pretty cool, lots of black leather; though I bet 'Gretel' had to be sewn into her 'leather' pants they were that tight.  Though I was pleased she was not trying to fight in a skirt, such as the era would demand.  I'm also pleased her character had no love interest and instead made friends with a troll - that was delightfully refreshing.

I dig this movie; they have taken an old story and extrapolated it into something new, whilst remaining fun, unlike the other horrific examples we have had lately.

4 out of 5 (where: 1=actively burning it, 2=waste of time, 3=don't regret having seen it, but... 4=good movie, recommended, 5=blewmymindwhyhaven'tyouseenityetI'vegottoseeitagaintalktoyoulater).

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