Jonesing for some more of Jeremy Renner being all terse and laconic while playing absolutely ridiculous roles? Then you’re in luck, since the first trailer for Paramount’s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is out. This year alone, Renner has played a superhuman archer and a superhuman government agent—and while he’s a little less than superhuman here, he still possesses that focused scowl that promises some badass chase sequences and many .gifs.
In case you hadn’t already guessed, Renner is Hansel, and Gemma Arterton is his sister Gretel. After narrowly escaping the clutches of a witch in their childhood — as per the gruesome fairy tale — they’ve devoted their lives to hunting down witches in other villages, equipped with completely anachronistic armor and guns. It’s like the plot of Supernatural (though with less unresolved sexual tension) crossed with the modern slang of A Knight’s Tale. Oh, and the evil witches look kinda like the Jigsaw puppet from Saw.
Response to the trailer has been mixed so far. After Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter bombed with roughly the same presence, and considering the lackluster response to Snow White and the Huntsman, audiences are understandably suspicious of another high-concept fantasy movie that wants to show you how snarky it is. The A.V. Club took exception to the lack of dialogue and cheesy shot of Arterton and Renner tossing each other weapons, when that was one of my favorite parts of the trailer. Tor.com seems a little more optimistic, but they too acknowledge that this is gonna be one absurd movie.
I was gonna write it off, until Renner’s narration kicked in and I realized that at least he gets to crack jokes. If — and this is a big if – everyone treated this like a fun, campy romp, it could maybe work. However, between the two screenwriters, the only recognizable credit is Dead Snow, that movie about Nazi zombies in the snow or something. Hansel and Gretel could turn out like that: A fun idea, but you never actually get around to seeing the movie.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters comes out January 11, 2013, so you’ve got some time to make up your mind. Do it for Renner!
Photo: Paramount Pictures