Friday, 1 March 2013

246, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Its no secret that the tales from the Brothers Grimm have been part of everyday life for nearly four centuries. Their books and stories entertained millions worldwide and most recently, their visions have been immortalised on TV with Grimm - the great TV drama charting most of the stories written in 1 hour episodes. I always thought though, although kids stories - the depth of the actual story telling is that of witches, trolls and (to be fair), not very nice 'nasties' so to have potential TV remakes and movies, 'sugar coated' and made kiddie friendly takes away the potential for some fantastic movie making - just for the grown ups.

This came to light in 2011 when a darker version of Red Riding Hood hit the screens and now - Hansel & Gretel is upon us. This cert 15 rated movie focuses on the unfortunate kiddies who come across a candy house in the woods and end up being potential supper for the dwelling inhabitant within.

Well, if that sounds all a bit cheesy then let me set the record straight - this is an awesome movie! I was so pleasantly surprised by the content, visual brilliance and surprising levels bad language that adorn our aforementioned siblings and seeing as for this Blog - its 'back to back' Gemma Arterton reviews - lets start with her.

She is AWESOME! Anything negative I have said about her previously is utter rubbish.  

Arterton = Redeemed! 

In this she is the epitome of cool. A hard-ass cross bow toting Witch hunter who along with Jeremy Renner as the quirky and quite comedic Hansel make an almost impenetrable duo but to their credit, they never seem to get an easy ride and pitted against Magic Wand Wielding Witches - really ending up taking as much punishment as they give out.

There is blood, gore and fantastic death scenes of which the best two (in my mind) are the curse of the ever lasting hunger for crawling creatures (I think I got that right) and its Gretel's least favourite (you'll see why) and the Witch being beautifully diced as she hurtles though a catch net - strung between two trees. To add to the carnage there are decapitations, Trolls stomping on faces and most impressively - squishing skulls like they were grapes but all of it was brilliantly done and with an air of humour but certainly not cheesy by any means.

The story rattles along almost immediately with the childhood story that we all grew up on being played out during the opening credits and then based on their initial success, a CV crammed full of child rescues is what lures them to a town, ravaged by Grand Witch Famke Janssen and in a total 360 story - see our heroes back where it all began.

The supporting cast is amazing - Arterton and Renner (as 'I've already said) are unbelievably good and the special effects are epic, but that's not all (and I cant believe I'm actually going to say this out loud) - for the first time - the 3D WORKS!!! I know! - I couldn't believe it either but there is none of that atmospheric depth of field 3D crap here - stuff actually flies out of the screen at you, whether it be arrows, blood, gore or even whole parts of Witch, it really will take you're breath away.

The best thing - its not even scary. The 15 cert is based on the language (multiple F-words brilliant spattered throughout from Arterton) and an almost Tarantio'esq display of gore but even that's not too bad, certainly no where near Hostel or Saw levels. The witches are evil but in a fun way, making watching them die even better and I for one - absolutely loved this movie. 

Only coming out mid week, this is its opening weekend so if you're reading this Friday night and have nothing on for Saturday and the kids are sorted, make a date to go and see it - you wont be disappointed. I just hope that this opens the door for more adult aimed Fairytales to adorn my multiplex because if they are like this one - I cant wait.