10th Anniversary TLDR: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
It holds up better than you think!
Plot: After getting a taste for blood as children, Hansel and Gretel have become the ultimate vigilantes, hell-bent on retribution. Now, unbeknownst to them, Hansel and Gretel have become the hunted, and must face an evil far greater than witches… their past.
Direction & Screenplay: Tommy Wirkola is best known for making a bunch of movies I haven't seen (with Violent Night being the exception): Dead Snow, The Trip, What Happened to Monday. This movie, his first English-language film, is about as wacky as the title promises. Wirkola himself even called it, "a crazy, rock n' roll script. Full throttle." I appreciate what he's going for. When you reach adulthood, fairy tales surprise you with how screwed up they are, so this sequel of sorts doesn't feel that insane. It's a totally reasonable What If for these characters (even if you've never asked yourself What If Hansel and Gretel, traumatized by the incident at the end of their tale, grew up to be witch hunters) that commits totally. He directs the hell out of it.
Performances: Gemma Arterton (Gretel) fits in really well with these types of movies: Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans, you get the point. She does it with zero superiority and a jump-right-in attitude that a movie like this needs. Jeremy Renner (Hansel) is the reason why I watched this, to be honest. I've never had much of a relationship with his work, but in the wake of his snowplow accident at the beginning of the year, many fans took to Twitter to send their love and appreciation. I figured this would be a good place to start, something I ignored initially but perhaps deserved to give a second look - just like my relationship with Renner. The real scene-stealer, however, is Famke Janssen as the evil grand witch. Complete with great practical effects makeup, she goes balls out. Might as well - you're playing a witch in a movie that is about witch hunters! You're the very definition of villain, might as well have some fun.
Cinematography: Michael Bonvillain has done a lot of great work on movies like Cloverfield and shows like Lost. This movie looks exactly like the other dark, grown-up fairy tales of the time (Snow White and the Huntsman, Jack the Giant Slayer) so in that case, he did great work, I suppose.
Best moment: When we learn that Hansel is diabetic from the gingerbread house incident with the witch. That's totally hysterical while also being not funny at all.
Fun fact: Produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
Imaginary accolade: Runner-up for Best Use of Makeup Prosthetics in a January 2013 release. It lost to Hugh Jackman's ballsack chin in Movie 43.
Everything is too long. Is it too long? Nope! 88 minutes!
Rating: 3D out of 5D.
Credit: Plot synopsis from Letterboxd via TMDb.
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