I think I’m over the whole “so ridiculous it’s fun” thing.
Either that, or I’m waiting until someone actually creates something that genuinely looks like fun before I say that again. Today, the trailer for “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” finally arrives online and I can’t help but feel like I’m looking at a parody of a “cool” movie trailer.
Jeremy Renner is so decidedly modern and he and Gemma Arterton appear to have so little chemistry that I’m feeling like even before you get to the film’s ridiculous premise, the movie is already hobbled. Sure, it’s hard to judge the end result from a trailer, but part of me feels like I’m looking at the new version of “The Brothers Grimm,” and if Terry Gilliam failed to make that premise work, I’m not sure Tommy Wirkola (whose “Dead Snow” was fun) is the man for the job.
I feel like Arterton’s been given a lot of chances to click with an audience, and she always seems to me to be that girl in drama class who is very smart and very precise about what she does, but who remains utterly unconvincing playing anything but a very smart girl acting. I don’t buy her as an action lead, no matter how they’ve got her trussed up for the movie.
More than that, though, I’m not sure I’m down for yet another noisy action movie that sort of pretends to be a horror film. I’d love to believe that this is going to be a truly dark and scary thing, because the original story is of course terrifying if you think about it from the point of view of Hansel and Gretel. I would be willing to hang if they play things real and show just how awful it is, these creatures living in the hearts of the woods, eating children and terrorizing the countryside. I don’t want jokes. I don’t want one-liners. I don’t want hard-boiled action heroes. And that’s what it looks like this one does in spades.
Sure, they’ve got Famke “The Dutch Treat” Janssen in there as a bad guy, and that’s always a good idea, but this trailer just doesn’t convince me that this is going to work in a way that a number of similar films didn’t, and more than anything, it makes me think it might have been a good idea for Paramount to push this to January. That’s probably not the reaction the studio was looking for, either.
“Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” opens January 2013.