As those of you that have been around for a while will know, I frequently mention the difference between what is good and what we like and that they are not necessarily the same thing. For you newer people, you can go back and check this post in particular to get the background). People like to think they are, because people want to think "I like this, so it is good" or "I don't like this, so this is bad." Whether we like something or not has no bearing on its quality of "goodness."
I have a direct experience of this to relate.
Over this past weekend, I went to see Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Let me just start by saying that we didn't go see this so much because we wanted to see it but because we were willing to see it. I was going with a friend and there weren't that many options of movies that he hadn't already seen, so that left us with less than a handful of movies to pick from (I think the actual number was three), and this was the one that rose to the top of things that we were both most willing to go see. For me, it was mostly about Jeremy Renner.
To say that this movie was bad is an understatement. The dialogue was horrible. The story was full of more holes than Swiss cheese. What's really big? Hmm... let's say a planet. But not a small planet like Pluto that gets downgraded from being a planet; let's say something around the size of Uranus, yeah, that one works for this. The plot holes were so big, Uranus could orbit right through them. The movie was absurd. Ludicrous, even. Actually, the movie was at Ludicrous Speed.
And I loved it for that. Okay, well, maybe I didn't love it, but I love it in concept. I enjoyed most of the heck out of it despite how bad it was.
I can imagine how the concept for this movie came about:
#1: Let's make a vampire movie!
#2: Vampires are too done, right now. People are over vampires.
#1: Well, let's make it vampire hunters, then!
#2: No, that's still vampires.
#3: What about witches? No one is doing witches.
#2: Ooh! We could do Hansel & Gretel! They fight a witch.
#1: Witches are lame. They're old hags that can't fight. You'd just have witch hunters walking in and killing all the witches.
#3: We can give them powers.
#1: Like vampires! They can be super strong and super fast.
#2: And know karate!
And, so, we get these huge fight scenes of pasty faced witches that look like vampires and act like vampires, except for the biting, where everyone smashes through trees and boulders and flings spells and never get hurt. It was kind of awesome. I mean, it was completely unashamed of itself in how bad it was. It was like watching a four-year-old rolling around in a mud puddle being all self-satisfied. In fact, it was exactly like that.
I mean, it was like watching kids play an imagination game where they keep making stuff up as they go.
It starts out in a pretty normal Hansel & Gretel setting with some peasant abandoning his children in the woods. The look of the movie is as if it's set in the 1600's. All hovels and burning at the stake and all of that. But, then, as they become witch hunters, there's a scene of newspaper clippings of all the witches they kill as hunters. Newspapers which, of course, didn't exist. All of the "photos" are sketches. The movie is full of anachronistic things of that nature. The movie just doesn't care if it fits the time period or not, which is part of what made it fun. It's also part of what makes it ludicrous.
Kid #1: We're being attacked by a witch!
Kid #2: I pull out my crossbow and shoot at her!
Kid #1: She's too fast for your lame crossbow.
Kid #2: It's a double-barrel machine crossbow!
Kid #1: Fine! I pull out my gun!
Kid #2: You can't have a gun! They didn't have guns!
Kid #1: They didn't have machine crossbows either.
Kid #2: You can have a gun.
Kid #1: It's big shotgun, and I shoot at the witch!
The whole movie is like that, and, really, it does just wallow in it, and it made it a lot of fun.
Unlike, say, Van Helsing (with Hugh Jackman) which is much the same but took itself much too seriously to be enjoyable. In fact, Van Helsing is one of the worst movies I've ever seen, which is unfortunate, because I thought Jackman did a more then fine job with what he was given. Hansel & Gretel never takes itself seriously, and, so, I never had a problem with it. Despite all of the horrible inconsistencies. Even as I sit here writing this, I'm thinking about some of the stupid things in the movie, like the witches being, basically, a separate race and the fact that they don't actually look human at all, so why is there ever a witch problem to begin with? But I kind of also don't care even though my brain is yelling at me that I should care.
Seriously, it's up there yelling, "That's so stupid!" And I'm shrugging and responding, "But it was fun."
Which is not to say that I'd actually recommend the movie to anyone, because I wouldn't. Unless you like mindless action, because that's what this is. Mindless action with a vague setting. Total cotton candy. If you like that kind of thing, this movie is just for you.