Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
The whole kidding trope, which you can bet was ordered by McKay and Ferrell, is pretty lame, and defeats the leads' attempts to bring shadings to cardboard cartoon characters.
New York Times:
There isn't much swashbuckling chemistry between Mr. Renner and Ms. Arterton, and the script doesn't give them enough of the witty lines that can elevate these types of movies to must-see status ...
New York Observer:
I doubt that they had Strike Anywhere matches in the 14th century, and I'm pretty sure nobody said things like "Whatever happens, stay cool."
It isn't a movie so much as a mechanical process.
Wirkola tears through "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" with such giddy abandon, it ends up being splattery fanboy fun. Preposterous, clearly, but fun.
There isn't much to this beyond the poorly staged, rapidly edited violence; the witches, all but devoid of backstory, are basically canvasses for cartoon splatter.
If this long-delayed and blatantly pandering CGI malarkey is anything to go by, Hollywood's current craze for fairy tales isn't going to have a happy ending.
The movie has been sitting on the shelf for a while, and like, say, a house of candy you might find in the woods, it's gotten a bit stale.
Lots of anachronisms and tongue-in-cheek dialogue establish the spoofy nature of this violent venture. All that's missing is a genuine sense of wit.
Los Angeles Times:
For all the perspiration in jazzing up an old yarn, there's not a whiff of originality in how Wirkola engages with the perverse pleasures enshrined by the Grimm brothers, two of their era's shrewdest storytellers.
New York Daily News:
Even if he's slumming, Renner gets it best: his dry delivery fully acknowledges the movie's ridiculousness. If you're planning on entering this fractured fairy tale, you'll want to follow his lead.
New York Post:
An exceedingly dull and stillborn attempt to update the Brothers Grimm.
This may be the longest 90 minutes you ever spend in a theater. You've been warned.
Globe and Mail:
The movie settles for showers of gore with intermittent moments of spoofiness.
The film isn't funny enough for comedy or scary enough for horror, and the anachronisms are ludicrous.
At least it puts forth a sound message: Kids, avoid overdoing it on sweets -- especially candy that doubles as drywall.
While the film rarely provokes any strenuous eye-rolling, it also can't drum up even the slightest interest in the fate of its characters, let alone suspense.
What on Earth are Renner and Arterton doing in this godforsaken thing?