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Is "Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters" Already Doomed?

Kathy Zerbib |
September 6, 2012 | 1:22 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters (Screenshot)
Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters (Screenshot)
The next in a flock of fairytale features, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (starring Jeremy Renner) debuted its first trailer Tuesday. After its release date was pushed back from March 2012 to January 2013, the question now isn’t when the film will be released, but why

We all know the popular childhood story of Hansel and Gretel. But in this adaptation, 15 years have gone by - though after a look at the characters it seems more like 20 - and the pair are living out their days as expert bounty hunters for witches.

This storyline immediately brings to mind other recent fairytale fodder, namely Red Riding Hood and Snow White and the Huntsman. Neither film received formidable ratings when it was released (the former with an 11 percent critic approval on Rotten Tomatoes, and the latter with a slightly better 48 percent.) The CGI in both was expectedly impressive, but these misguided adaptations simply could not hold up to the high standard set by their original inspiration.

The release for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters was rumored to have been pushed back because the producer’s hoped they could benefit from the increasing star power of Jeremy Renner, who plays Hansel, after his part in the hugely successful The Avengers as well as his starring role in The Bourne Legacy this summer.

But this lack of confidence in the film is an automatic indication that it was predicted to be doomed from the beginning. The public simply does not approve of the modernized fairytale plot that the movie industry continues to shove down their throats. But, time and time again, Hollywood reveals its lust to profit from an idea of the past and its downfall in turning creative premises into unimaginative products.

It is most unfortunate that bounty hunting was the best that movie producers could do with the endless possibilities of a “happily ever after.” The plot has exceptionally horrific timing, coming on the heels of the low-rated Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Hunting anything does not seem to be in style with moviegoers this year and Hansel and Gretel’s witch hunting adventures will likely be no different. Nonetheless, since the movie will be out in mid-January (a time when big-name films aren’t typically released), perhaps the producers can find comfort knowing that the average moviegoer will be bored into seeing whatever is in theaters that weekend.

Reach staff reporter Kathy Zerbib here.





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