Let’s not mince words: Hansel and Gretel is not a good movie. But with its shoddiness so clearly telegraphed – from its premise (fit for a gag or two but already overstretched before the end of the opening credits) to the pushed back release date (ostensibly an attempt to capitalise on Jeremy Renner’s rising status, but nevertheless rarely a sign of studio confidence) – anyone leaving the cinema disappointed by the ludicrous and unwieldy results really only has themselves to blame.
As the sorceress-slaying siblings, Renner and Gemma Arterton struggle valiantly with a script that mostly involves cracking hag-heads while cracking wise. With so little to work with their talents are mostly wasted, but at least they seem to be having fun, and this self-awareness (rubbish, but proudly rubbish) proves the film’s saving grace. Hints of a sequel are, however, a step too far: to borrow a (tiresome) quote from the film itself: “you gotta be fucking kidding me.”