Welcome back to 1 out of 5 – Would Recommend, where Hollywood occasionally gets one right! Today, we’re talking about the first time Jeremy Renner teamed up with a witch, 2013’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters!
What’s The Plot?Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Atherton) survive their childhood encounter with a witch in a candy house and grow up to become stone cold badass Witch Hunters! After years of making their living as Middle Ages-era Blade knock-offs, they finally meet their match in the form of a Grand Black Witch (X-Men‘s Famke Janssen) bringing together her sisters for a dark purpose on the blood moon. Can they beat an army of witches? Is this an American action flick?
Who Made This Beautiful Garbage?
Well, it was produced by (among others) Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and it was written/directed by Tommy Wirkola – the guy behind Norwegian zombie nazi splatter fest Dead Snow . So it has a solid comedic pedigree, but the true success of the flick is that it plays its ridiculous premise dead straight. It is glorious.
Five Reasons to See It
- Hansel being force fed candy as a kid has left him diabetic. He needs to inject himself every couple of hours (with insulin, one assumes) or else he instantly collapses. Of course this happens at inopportune moments.
- Gretel’s weapon of choice is a fully automatic crossbow. There’s a blessed Gatling gun during the climax. Hansel & Gretel use a taser, This is every bit as fun as it sounds.
- The Grand Black Witch, the movie’s super-hot big bad, the woman who will give her kind invulnerability to fire and allow them to dominate the world…is named Muriel. Courage would be so disappointed.
- Peter Stormare plays Ausburg’s fanatical sheriff, who naturally hates the heroes because of course he does. He hams it up and is just perfect (as usual for Stormare).
- “My sister and I never saw our parents again. It was just the two of us. But we learned a couple of things while trapped in that house: One, never walk into a house made of candy. And two, if you’re gonna kill a witch, set her ass on fire.”
Like a Sharknado or an Avengers Grimm, this movie has a flatly ridiculous premise, a setting with little or no mind paid to verisimilitude, and could easily have been terrible. Only it ended up, somehow, at Paramount Pictures. It has a real budget, a great cast, good special effects, it’s like someone took one of The Asylum’s movie scripts and said “Hey, let’s do this well”. It is a giant load of pure of fun and it is HIGHLY recommended.
NEXT WEEK: We’ll try to convince you that the legendarily bad video game adaption Street Fighter (1994) is actually a work of comedic brilliance on par with Batman: The Movie (1966).