Review – Snow White and the Huntsman

snow-white-huntsman-movie-poster-kristen-stewart-01                     Rating = ★★½     Tagline = Low Matinee

Snow White and the Huntsman has mostly been hated on. I’m going to come out and say I didn’t hate it; didn’t love it, though. While originality is lacking, and issues with the story and script do hurt the movie, nothing ever kills it. Hey, it’s a better Snow White than another one that came out this year, Mirror Mirror – I got what it was attempting to accomplish, in the end it never worked out. Now, I’m not going to say this was my most anticipated movie of the year, but I’d be lying to say my curiosity didn’t have me wanting to see it. 2012 seems like a year for franchises to venture into a darker atmosphere. Family aspects are still present within the story, but they’re engulfed within a shadow; just look at The Amazing Spider-Man and The Hunger Games for an example. This isn’t as dark as I originally thought, but grading it on “the Snow White scale,” it deserves an unquestionable R rating.

One day a baby is born. That baby was Snow White, born with hair as black as night and skin as white as snow. She is the princess to the king. He marries a woman he rescued from a battle; her name was Ravenna (Charlize Theron). Ravenna betrays the king; she murders him and uses her dark powers to take over the kingdom. She then locked Snow White in the dungeon for many years. When Snow White starts to age Ravenna’s magic mirror tell her that soon she will cease to be the fairest of them all. The sole way to live forever is to consume Snow White’s pure heart – so she orders her immediate death. Snow White managed to escape into the forest though and Ravenna sends The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to bring her back. He was forced to do this and persuaded by a lie. However, he changes sides and he agrees to help Snow White find what’s left of the army to overtake the evil Queen.

Snow White and the Huntsman is Rupert Sanders directional debut. The direction basically tries exceptionally hard to mirror The Lord of the Rings and Narnia. It becomes a problem when you take aspects from other movies and add nothing to it; in fact, just end up with a lesser version. The battles are handled well, but it’s panned after other movies in a way where you can’t help but notice. This statement holds true to everything about the movie. Nothing is original and your mind can easily take notice what movies “inspired” a scene. This isn’t necessary a major problem, but it bothered me and almost affected the rating. A minuscule percentage of the movie actually had some ideas of its own.

They are good separately, but don’t work well together.

The screenplay has its set of strengths and weaknesses. One moment you are hearing a totally cliched and portly written dialog back and forth. The speeches before the big battles were hard to listen to, also dialog could get quite bad between Stewart and Thor. Other times though, the dialog would work and push the story through effectively. I liked some stuff written for the queen and the dwarfs; I didn’t like what was written for Snow White’s old friend – he was a bad rip-off of Legolas if you ask me. What surprised me a great deal is how they dealt with the Huntsman. When he’s brought on I expected him and his character to just have wooden dialog and be that typical big bodyguard throughout. Real heart is injected there. Everything positive can be countered with something negative; a mixed back through and through.

The performances aren’t anything special, but all are good. Kristen Stewart isn’t a bad actress. She’s had Twilight bogging her career down for a long time; finally over now. Stewart doesn’t really give anything in those movies, but she is the best out of the cast, and how much could she really do with the material? Very good performances are given by her in Adventureland and The Runaways. Here, Stewart is solid. Yes, a few time a slip happens or a line not delivered as well as it could have been. No costing is involved with this role and she gives enough to show some effort is present. Chris Hemsworth (THOR!) is on par with Stewart – not a lot chemistry between the two though. Charlize Theron overacts, but that doesn’t mean that’s an entirely negative thing. Sam Claflin plagued Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I’m happy to report this is a step up for him. Not great, but nothing like when he played Phillip. The actors who played the dwarfs are great – defiantly the stand-outs.

Visually speaking, many elements of CGI was used to great effect. The look of the film was used to an advantage. From the castles, to the forests, to the creatures. I also felt a dark atmosphere that created a foreboding feeling – just in the beginning though. While rare, a few aspects of the special effects didn’t work; overall it’s extremely well done.

One thing I wish was tweaked was the story. I’m 100% sure nobody in this universe doesn’t know the story of Snow White. It’s changed a bit, but it delivers a predictable plot as any. From the trailer, I was hoping a serious twist was in order. I’ll use the roller coaster analogy. The journey you go on the movie has ups and downs. One moment good things are happening and I’m getting excited for the rest of the movie. Then it would fall from grace and would let down big-time. Not the best ride nor the worst; when you’re up you are enjoying yourself and when you’re down the fun stops. Is the ride worth it? In this case, it depends on the person.

6 thoughts on “Review – Snow White and the Huntsman

  1. I actually liked Mirror Mirror more than this one, so we differ in opinion there. I remember seeing this at the cinema and I was really glad when it was over. It’s got some pretty visuals, but the story and performances weren’t enjoyable at all. Have to see other Stewart movies, but based on this one I don’t like her acting.

  2. A lot darker and grittier than most fairy tales we see on the big screen, but it worked and gave this film a new edge to it that I think it needed. Story could have had more tension to it though. Good review Alec.

  3. Apparently the Grimm fairy tales were originally gruesome. Cinderella featured toes being severed to fit slippers. Yuck! I learned that from a college student who was studying fairy tales.

    I agree with you on one thing: it’s better than Mirror Mirror. Most wouldn’t agree, but I’m glad we do. This still is a bad movie. Good review.


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