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Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft


With utterly Grimm results.

Rod Lott January 16th, 2013

At least at press time, Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft is the latest shameless coattails rider of the big-budget Jeremy Renner vehicle Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which hits theaters next weekend. By contrast, this DVD premiere stars someone named Booboo Stewart, and that alone should tell you everything.

hanselgretelwow
Another: H&G: WOW is directed by David DeCoteau, whose dirt-cheap filmography includes 1313: Giant Killer Bees! (exclamation theirs), Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000 and the forthcoming A Talking Cat!?! (exclamations and question mark theirs).

In this flaccid effort, Hansel and Gretel Jonah and Ella (real-life sibs Booboo and Fivel Stewart, respectively) play orphan sibs who get sent to an elite private school headed by The Expendables’ Eric Roberts. After a little tussling with other students (Jonah) and getting mocked by the rich-bitch clique (Ella), they learn the institution was founded by witches.

Furthermore, it’s essentially ruled by a secret society called The Circle, composed of magic-makers and spell-casters who have gone on to be presidents, CEOs and other captains of industry. Hansel and Gretel Jonah and Ella are destined to join so they can help fight a character who is actually an evil witch, but whose identity you would guess far before the reveal. (I say “would,” because I encourage you to avoid watching.)
 
Obviously rushed into shooting and bearing the production values of porn, H&G: WOW aims for that Twilight feel — at least it nails the insipid part. The Stewart stars seem to be vying to out-not-act one another, and their bid is threatened by every young member among the compact cast. Although leagues above, albeit to wildly varying degrees, Roberts, Vanessa Angel (TV’s Weird Science) and Cherie Currie (former lead vocalist of The Runaways) can’t help but be tainted simply by association.

The best of acting, however, would not salvage such a stupid script by first-timer Larson Tretter (“Ella! I read in the paper you like pizza, right?”) or DeCoteau’s lazy helming. I know the budget was tight, but certainly he could’ve used grabbed three establishing shots of the campus instead of reusing the same one. —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
The Expendables: Extended Director's Cut Blu-ray review     
Hansel & Gretel DVD review      
The Runaways film review     
Weird Science: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 DVD review    



 
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