The Snow White’s father, the King Magnus, fights an evil army while mourning the death of his wife and Snow White’s mother. He defeats the army and rescues a woman held prisoner by them. But the beautiful female prisoner that he falls for and marries, turns out the be his undoing. Ravenna takes the kingdom and locks the young Snow White in a prison. Years later, just as the queens magic mirror tells Ravenna that Snow White will destroy her, or give her eternal youth, the queen decides to kill Snow and take her heart. The imprisoned princess knows it’s now or never, and strikes the creepy queens brother and escapes into the dark forest (more like an LSD forest… you’ll see). Even the queen doesn’t want to chase her in there , so she hires a huntsman to capture Snow and her special eternal life giving heart. Ravenna promises the huntsman that she will bring back a loved one if he succeeds.
This was a more mature telling of the classic fairytale. Snow White didn’t remain the damsel in distress, but ended up leading a charge against the queen, armor and swords and all. And the queen wasn’t just a power hungry woman with an evil laugh, but a scorned woman out for revenge against the monarchs of the land as well. The huntsman also had a duel purpose of being the rescuer and the ‘prince charming’, even though there was an actual prince that loved Snow.
I liked the film, but there were several things that bothered me. Rupert Sanders directed the film. He doesn’t have much to his feature film credit (this actually looks like the first), but given that, he did a nice job of directing the story. What bothered me was that the story was told in a sort of one note type of way. To me, there weren’t many scenes that made my eyes go wide. At times it almost dragged on, not delivering those culminating moments that you might remember walking out of the theater. The dialog wasn’t the problem as much as how the movie progressed. The most emotionally charged parts came from Charlize Theron. She took the role of the queen seriously, and embraced the bitter turmoil that drove the character. I enjoyed seeing her do her thing.
The other problem was that Kristen Stewart did not deliver as much as I had hoped. I’m not a Twilight fan, but even so I was going to give her the benefit of the doubt. She had a couple good moments, including a peasant rousing speech to get some fight in their hearts. But for most of the movie, Stewart played it pretty somber. I think it was a combination of her acting (mostly), the writing, and the lack of juicy moments to react to. You know what I think would have helped the movie? Seeing Stewart being taught how to actually fight by Hemsworth. Sure, he showed her a move or two (no, actually one), but I’m a sucker for some good training sequence, even if it’s supposed to be just for a day or two.
As for Hemsworth, he did bring some of his acting skills to the table. The Huntsman laughed and shed tears, was laid back at times and full us passion at others. When I watched Hemsworth playing his character, I didn’t see a certain Shakespearean english speaking, hammer wielding Asgardian god from another movie. He was convincing enough as a different character, who also was a brash english speaking, hand weapon wielding fighter guy. Okay, maybe not so different, but he made the character his own. I feel like the man will have some real acting chops after a few more serious roles.
The special effects were fine. They didn’t distract from the story or the acting. If you watched the trailer, you will have a pretty good idea of how well they were done. Don’t expect many more than what you saw though, the trailer showed many of the highlights. I did like what they did with the dwarves. It reminded me of LOTR because I know for a fact that some of those actors are not that short.
As I said, I didn’t hate the movie, but there was certainly room for more. More action, more emotion, more climatic scenes. I know where they were going, with the serious take on the fairy tale, but some of the ‘adventure’ was missing, which would have made the film more enjoyable.
Geek Soul Brother gives SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN 2.75 out of 5 COSMIC AFROS. Almost a 3, but not quite.