Reviews

A Twofer: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and xXx

I was planning on mentioning xXx already, but this weekend I got the chance to see Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, and since both reviews are short, I combined them.

Hansel Und Gretel

A lot of movies these days, even blockbusters, try to have some sort of thought-provoking twist to justify the action. Even less pretentious flicks tend to have a message, and classic action movies usually deal with more themes than “gun go bang, car go boom.” So when I saw this movie advertized, with its twist on a classic fairy tale, its rising star, and the sheer potential of the world it was set in, I naturally assumed there would be something of significance beyond full auto crossbows.

I was wrong. Hansel and Gretel is exactly what it claims to be–a movie about little kids that grow up and kill witches. They have plenty of opportunities to try for fairly serious drama or ask semi-deep questions, but don’t. Instead, they make witches splode. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad action movie at all. A little too heavy on the blood and guts, a brief shot of nudity, enough swearing to get the R rating (which I wasn’t aware of going in), and no deeper significance, but still pretty fast paced with some awesome fights and shots purely for the cool factor. The only real change effected by the end of the movie is that the title characters are a little more BA, which is pretty cool, I guess. So, yeah. I won’t say you shouldn’t go see it, but honestly I would rather my own nine bucks had gone elsewhere.

xXx

Have you ever watched Hoodwinked? Remember Triple G? If not, stop what you’re doing and go watch that particular piece of awesome. At any rate, this was the Vin Diesel movie that inspired that reference. I never spent money on this one, and for which I am happy. It was not as action-movie good as Hansel and Gretel, the villain was past Bond-level crazy, and the characters were pretty lame. But it did try to go for a message.

It made the interesting point that folks like Vin Diesel’s Xander Cage (incidentally, I like the obvious punny casting alternative), who see it as their mission in life to stick it to the man or whatever, don’t rely want the mainstream society they mock to be destroyed. They need the establishment to exist in order to fight against it. Reminds me of how one man compared sinners raging against God to a child sitting in his father’s lap and slapping him in the face. It’s only by the father’s goodwill that the child can insult him like that.

Incidentally, the Netflix version claims to be PG-13, but it’s actually the R version. Not that it should matter. Honestly, that one observation is all the movie was worth.

Mediocre Movies

I guess you have to have movies like those two. Something cheaper to offset the good, deep movies. But you know what? I get more fun out of escaping to deep worlds than to this “okay” stuff. Heck, I get more fun out of stuff so bad it doesn’t need rifftrax. Give me good, give me hilariously bad, but meh is meh. And nobody likes meh.

Standard

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