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Tommy Wirkola directs this classic tale well and cleverly puts a spin on the story we already know.
The well known story of Hansel & Gretel lost in the woods is the starting point of this action movie. As children, they stumble upon a powerful evil witch. This is the turning point for them which propels them into a life of hunting witches and killing them for a fee.
The story moves along at a decent pace and the running time of 88 minutes packs a lot of action into a tightly bundled, if somewhat conventional, Hollywood package.
Famke Janssen, of X-Men fame, gives a commendable performance as the evil witch but the lasting impression of this movie comes from Phila Viitala in the role of Mina. Mina strikes a resounding chord of balance in the plot, that not all witches are evil. This gives rise to an interesting discourse on morality, and good versus evil. There is a clear message in the subtext and this is why I loved the written story behind the action. The fantasy action is the redeeming strength, and fantasy fans will enjoy watching this, with plenty of effort placed into costume and make-up.
The locations were great and added to the fairytale feel that is expected. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters delivers a good film worthy of munching down popcorn. Just don’t eat the candy!
In the end, it wasn’t just another familiar recipe from Hollywood, but it still lacked some panache and left me wanting more. It is cleverly tantalising and worth watching for the comedic value, even thought that is somewhat underplayed.