In this spin on the fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel are now bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. As the fabled Blood Moon approaches, the siblings encounter a new form of evil that might hold a secret to their past.
The movie is the latest installment in Hollywood’s newest trend of reimagining classic fairytales as mature cinematic fare. Hansel and Gretal is an attempt at a witty retelling of the old yarn, bread crumbs and candied houses tale largely fails to live up to its promising concept.
The movie establishes the familiar story within the first few minutes, with siblings Hansel and Gretel left in the woods by their father and nearly eaten by a witch living within a gingerbread house. In the original tale, the pair’s story ends with them shoving the crone into her oven. Here, the opening credits quickly establish the basic idea of this retelling: the two, with no family to call their own, spend the years after their ordeal traveling the country and honing their professional witch hunting skills in the process. The remainder of the film finds the two, now fully grown, in the town of Augsburg, where they are hired by the mayor to save the local children who have been captured by a coven of powerful sorceresses, led by Muriel.
Unlike many recent productions of a similar nature, Hansel and Gretel stands out with its “R” rating, which results in plenty of over-the-top gore, nudity and swearing.
Director: Tommy Wirkola. Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal. Rated: R. Time: 1:28.