As a rule, movies released in January and February are low-budget affairs or big budget turkeys that the studio is hoping to burn off in the hopes of getting them onto DVDs and airplanes as quickly as possible and actually start making some money off of them.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters can be credibly classified as either, really. It’s got some talent behind it: Tommy Wirkola of Dead Snow is directing, and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are producing.
On the other hand, the trailer comes off like a direct-to-video Van Helsing sequel.
So, it’s, what, the fifteenth century, and Hansel and Gretel have dual action crossbows and folding pump action shotguns. Also, Jeremy Renner just isn’t even bothering with the accent. That’s… that’s just great.
That said, this does have some potential if for no other reason than at least the concept is enjoyably ridiculous. And Wirkola is a man who knows how to make a movie with a stupid concept work. His last movie was about a bunch of snowboarders accidentally awakening Nazi zombies and he knew that nobody cared about the snowboarders. It’s not art, but the man can deliver gore and a silly action scene with aplomb.
There’s just something about this that feels… tired and forced. Like there’s the seed of a good idea, and then it was taken a few steps too far over the top.
We’ll see in January.