Recommended: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Blah blah blah Hansel and Gretel is misogynistic & “witch hunt” is offensive & the whole thing is just one joke & blah blah blah I don’t know how to go to the movies and have some damn fun (h/t Ricky McAllister)

I’ll give Moviebob, whose video review is linked above, credit for one of his complaints: the movie is a bit paint-by-numbers. I don’t feel it drags like he says, where the first 10 minutes are the only good part and then a gag runs too long.

I do feel the movie is ridiculous fun and recommend it heartily. The rapid-fire crossbows and other medieval Batman gadgets make for cute gags; the witches trying to escape on brooms are a neat parody of chase scenes. The movie looks good – it is colorful, like a storybook, and that contrasts nicely with the hardened, overly macho action star dialogue of the leads.

Moviebob’s complaints are just awful. The “witch hunt” one is just ludicrous. Almost the very first thing that happens in the movie is that a witch is saved. She’s later recognized to be a good witch but is consistently one of the movie’s heroes. To say the movie is some kind of attack on practicing pagans or Wiccans is insane. “Misogyny” has a bit more bite, but not much. Hansel and Gretel beat up witches in scenes that recall The Dark Knight’s “enhanced interrogations.” However, the evil witches are established as super strong with some kind of regeneration early on. The whole plot of the movie is that they only need immunity to fire for immortality.

The strength of the movie is in the acting. Gemma Arterton’s Gretel is strong and sexy. When she takes command of the public square early on, declaring who she is and headbutting anyone in her way, it is clear who her character is and one wants to see more of her in the movie. Jeremy Renner’s Hansel is a lot of fun. He’s always trying to be tougher than he is. This results in him getting saved a ludicrous number of times by women – either Gretel or the good witch or bad witches missing badly.

Not much else to tell you. The reason for this “review” was to prevent stupid reviews by snobby critics from stopping you from seeing it. It’s good to be able to go to the movies and enjoy yourself. I am not sure why that is becoming a crime in some circles. I suspect some don’t read enough and are expecting film to take the place of “literature” or “philosophy” or “thinking for yourself.”

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