Instead, we get a streamlined and steam-cleaned studio product that can't decide if it's an adult horror or a children's fantasy. Neither Renner nor Arterton are particularly bad, but surely neither of them looked at the script for Hansel & Gretel and thought it a classic. Then again, Arterton has also starred in the creatively impoverished Clash of the Titans (2010) and Prince of Persia (2010), so either she has a fetish for flimsy action adventures or she needs to sack her agent. Peter Stormare is underused and Famke Janssen overacts, but it's the introduction of Edward the Ogre (Robin Atkin Downes) that finally convinces you that this film is a waste of everyone's time - and that the burden of responsibility for this dog's dinner must lie firmly with Wirkola.
The best you can say about Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is that it's a difficult film to hate. Yet on the hand, however, it's also an impossible film to love. Wirkola's latest works on one level - as being nothing more than 88 minutes of mindless, escapist entertainment - but all any viewer worth their salt will see is an instantly forgetful waste of talent and money.