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'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters': What are the reviews saying?

'Hansel' has had a troubled production history and is an admittedly out-there twist on an old fairy tale. How are critics liking the film?

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The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Farber said the movie should bring in the crowds who know they'll enjoy a campy action movie but that others won't find much to like.

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Molly Driscoll is a Books and the Culture staff writer.

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"Lots of anachronisms and tongue-in-cheek dialogue establish the spoofy nature of this violent venture," he wrote. "All that’s missing is a genuine sense of wit... Despite its few wry jokes, the script is awfully thin."

Other critics were even less complimentary.

"High-concept pitch or no, the movie doesn’t really work," Roger Moore of the McClatchy-Tribune News Service wrote in a review that appeared in the Seattle Times. "Writer-director Tommy Wirkola focuses on the fights and flings all manner of viscera at the 3D camera as limbs are whacked off and heads and torsos explode. Less attention was paid to the story and the dialogue."

Leah Rozen of The Wrap called the movie "a bloody grimm mess" in her headline.

"[The movie is] a squashed-together mess that tries to cram too many different types of movies into one... The best thing one can say about the resulting film is that it's 88 minutes long and that its stars, Jeremy Renner ("The Hurt Locker") and Gemma Arterton ("Tamara Drewe"), have done and will again do far better work," she wrote.

Despite its reviews, box office pundits are predicting that "Hansel" may have a good opening weekend because of the lack of competition. Box Office Mojo writer Ray Subers predicted the film would take the number-one slot.

"The main factor here is whether or not audiences are intrigued by the premise," he wrote, citing a $15.1 million opener for the similarly-themed film "The Brothers Grimm" and $16.3 million for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

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