My introduction to the brothers Grimm was through animated movies. I can remember being perched atop folded coats on my theater seat, so I would have a clear view of the movie screen. Cinderella dressed in her magical ball gown or the poisoned apple that induced eternal slumber for Sleeping Beauty were characters that amazed me, when I saw them up on the big screen. At a time before movie characters were marketed into every conceivable consumer product, I stored a variety of Grimm fairy tale characters in my imagination. Let me first say I am not a purist when it comes to keeping a story true to its original form. If the story can still be entertaining, I am fine with it. Unfortunately this abomination lacked the entertainment factor, besides a variety of other things. The movie updated the story of Hansel and Gretel by turning the brother and sister into adult witch hunters. Sure I get it, nearly cooked in an oven by an evil witch as kids; I could buy into their chosen profession. What I found out of character was having the two talking in a contemporary style, dropping the “F” word freely. It was foolish to have fairy tale characters from olden days swearing like thugs. Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Bourne Legacy) was Hansel and we were led to believe he was a diabetic. He wore a special wristwatch that rang every 2 hours, reminding him to take an injection that would keep him alive. It was so ridiculous I knew the concept was only there to be used later in the boring story. Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans) was the sharpshooter Gretel. The two were hired by a town to find a witch that was stealing children. What Hansel and Gretel found was a diabolical plot by the powerful witch Muriel, played by Famke Janssen (X-Men franchise, Goldeneye). In a nutshell the acting was miserable, the special effects were bland, the story was putrid and I resented the movie studio for tarnishing a classic tale.
1 1/4 stars
What do you think the Grimm brothers would have thought about this movie version’s twist on their original story? My guess would be none too happy about it; for I am afraid this mirror needed some polishing if it wanted to reflect a happy audience. Please do not get me wrong, there was nothing horrible about the movie; it just came across disjointed for me. On the plus side it was colorful, had a couple of good special effects in it and had kid friendly humor. The queen was played by Julia Roberts (Closer, Erin Brockovich) and it seemed she was having fun with the role. Some of her lines had a sickly sweet, sarcastic coating that played off well against the rest of the cast. Where I had an issue was the Snow White character, played by Lily Collins (The Blind Side, Abduction). I did not feel she had any chemistry with the other actors, especially with what should have been the most important one, Prince Albert played by Armie Hammer (The Social Network, J. Edgar). The story line of this movie was a combination of parts from various fairy tales. When Snow White’s father the King mysteriously disappeared from the kingdom, her stepmother the evil Queen took over the throne. Letting her true colors come out, she started to treat Snow White like a pseudo Cinderella. As you can see, I found the story odd. But in the scheme of things, this movie was harmless and acceptable for a family outing. Instead of casting a charming spell on you, this film will only cast a forgetting spell.