'Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters' Bluray Review: All Spectacle, No Soul

It is not the worst idea in the world to turn the brand of Hansel and Gretel on its head in order to create souped up action franchise based on the classic fairy tale. The problem here, though, is that the execution of that idea is an unmitigated failure.

 Like the classic fable, this R-rated film opens with a young Hansel and Gretel being abandoned by their father and getting lost in the woods before coming upon a gingerbread house. Unfortunately, the house is nothing more than kid-bait, owned and operated by a hideous witch who kidnaps children and fattens them with sweets before cooking and eating them.

Brother and sister outsmart the witch, toss her in the oven, yell something like, “Take that, bitch!” — which I don’t remember from the original fairy tale, and then decide they like this work. Flash-forward a few years and Hansel and Gretel have grown up into Jeremy Renner and Gemma Atherton — a couple of bounty hunters whose bounty is witches.

If you enjoy watching someone else place high-end video games with plenty of top-shelf effects, no story, and shallow characters — this one is for you.

Others beware.