Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

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Despite being an anachronistic mess, this is actually a reasonable ride full of action, humor, and splatter. A great film? No, but a silly, distracting ride to be sure. The script and the direction are passable, but not great. But with this kind of film, you’re there for the entertainment, not for award winning dialogue. With the help of solid commitment from the actors, what is there works.

In the leads, Atherton (Prince of Persia, Pirate RadioQuantum of Solace) and Renner (Mission Impossible 4, Bourne LegacyThe Avengers) make an amusing brother/sister team, though Renner is a bit low energy for the role. The movie also had the Famke Jansssen (Hemlock Grove) I enjoy seeing: sexy, strong, and evil. The supporting cast is equally committed and chew up the scenery nicely.

Adding to the atmosphere visually, the props, make-up, and costume folks had a ball as well. In fact, many of the f/x are practical rather than CG, which adds to the level of both artisanship and visceral quality that would otherwise be lacking. If you want an extra sort of ridiculous thrill, get the 3D version; especially if many flying pointy things and sprays of body parts are something you appreciate.

There is definitely enough to keep you distracted from the obvious story and occasional cliches if you’ve 90 minutes to waste on an evening. It’s not quite a popcorn flick, as it is a little too dark and bloody for that, but it is in a similar vein.

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