Chances are you have already read or heard about the German folklore involving brother-sister duo Hansel and Gretel. Tommy Wirkola takes the German folk-lore by slightly modifying the origin while keeping the essence and extends the story many years into the future. In the adapted or retold (depending on your viewpoint) version of the folklore, Hansel(Jeremy Renner) and Gretel(Gemma Arterton) are witch hunters as the name suggest. They are hired by a mayor of a small village plagued with disappearance of children. Here, they have to battle an evil witch(Famke Janssen) and also find out the truth about their past.
In the past few months, we have a lot of retelling of many stories. It was in last summer we had one of the influential and charismatic leader being portrayed as vampire slayer. So when a folklore is retold with the backdrop of witches and black magic, it is not much of a surprise. Unfortunately, the preposterous scenario fails to hold our interest in the opening reels itself. Ideally, a film like this should shock the viewers in the opening sequences. This shock helps the viewers to orient themselves into a new mode of story telling of a story they have heard many times. This never happens and the movie runs out of steam! Since the movie is in 3d, there are many tricks employed by the director like hurling objects right into your face. The director also tries to avert our attention by showing comically graphic scenes. Overall, these techniques do not help the movie.
Jeremy Renner, who usually is a dependable actor, is choosing the wrong scripts. This is one movie which he can neither salvage nor can make a difference. Famke Janssen has done similar role many times in the past. It is only Gemma Arterton who makes us smile in this boring enterprise. The smile is because of the foul language she uses. Here is someone who can be unlady-like.
Rating: *For trailer, click here.