The synopsis on Wiki mentioned Hansel got diabetes eating candy at the witch’s gingerbread house. So was that the subliminal message? What better way to fight the obesity epidemic than by showing Hansel paying for eating candy with insulin shots? This seemed to be fairytale reboot to die for. The Grimm fairy tale addresses these primal fears — children in danger, abandonment, cannibalism, a dark forest, a wicked witch, an evil step-mother and famine. The posters with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton looked way cool, so everything looked set for a cool time at the movies.

The prologue told the fairytale we were all familiar with — the father who reluctantly abandons his children in the forest, the gingerbread house, the long-nosed crone who fattens Hansel with candy and her fiery end. The title sequence was extraordinary using animated versions of black and white illustrations on parchment, reminding us of those pop-up storybooks we used to devour voraciously.

Unfortunately from there on the film goes south. The action while graphic (the makers have apparently attempted a — gasp — Tarantino vibe) is repetitive, the plot non-existent and the dialogues lame, with the f-word thrown in arbitrarily. So Hansel and Gretel have grown up to become kickass witch hunters and they land up in a village where children are being taken. The witches need 12 children for a ritual which will make them impervious to fire.

The siblings, with help from a troll and a white witch, thwart head witch Muriel and also learn about their past and ride into the sunset with a wagon full of dead witches — there is going to be a sequel! Cast wise Aterton and Renner try their best to mainline their considerable good looks and charisma into a terrible film, while Famke Janssen who accepted the role of Muriel for the money looks like she has been short changed. There is really nothing to redeem the film apart from the cool visuals and you would do better watching that direct to DVD version.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Genre: Horror/action/fantasy

Director: Tommy Wirkola

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen

Storyline: Hansel and Gretel are witch hunters, out to thwart the wickedest of them all

Bottomline: All those exploding witches in 3D do not save this film