Movie Review – Snow White and the Huntsman

2012 Universal Pictures

Two and Half Star

Snow WhiteSnow White and the Huntsman continues the current Hollywood trend of putting a new spin on a classic story this time obviously retelling the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

As the movie begins we are introduced to King Magnus and Queen Eleanor, rulers off the kingdom of Tabor who have just had a daughter that they cruelly name Snow White. Everyone in the kingdom loves the kind and gentle little Snow and everything is good in Tabor. Soon evil things are afoot when the Queen dies and the kingdom comes under attack from an army of soldiers that appear to made of glass. After the glass men are defeated a beautiful woman, supposedly a captive of the evil soldiers, wins the kings heart and becomes the new queen. Queen Ravenna, showing her true colors,  kills the king on their wedding night and locks Snow White in the castle tower. She then begins a reign of terror and brutality over Tabor. The land and people suffer greatly until Snow White escapes and offers hope and salvation to the wounded land and oppressed citizens.

Snow White and the Huntsman is an odd duck. Using the basic story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as the foundation for the story would have been okay if the screenplay had used more of the elements of the original tale. Unfortunately it doesn’t flesh the story out very well or add anything that really stands out. There is not much of the original story intact in this version. The plot is here but not much is done with the rest of the story beyond the basic outline. I’m not quite sure why they just didn’t tell an all new story and dispense with the need to throw in a reference here and there to the source material but oh well, that’s Hollywood for you. The characters are never anything but one dimensional caricatures. I didn’t really give a damn about any of them except maybe for Ravenna’s brother and he’s a villain. I kept wishing he would just kill his sister, get out of this movie, and go find a better life for himself (starting off with a good haircut).

This is a movie of missed opportunities that despite its shortcomings is worth a rental if only for the terrific production values,  solid effects, and well done costume and set design.

The good:

The Dark Forest is impressively brought to life by the effects crew. Nasty place I say. On the whole this is a good looking movie.

Queen and Mirror

Snow White and the Huntsman is a visually dynamic movie.

Dwarves

The dwarfs are likable characters.

Snow IV

Kristen Stewart has gorgeous eyes and at times looks quite beautiful.

Charlize Theron looks stunning as Ravenna and her costumes are beautifully designed..

Queen

The not so good:

I don’t find Kristen Stewart to be a very interesting actress. I watched the first Twilight movie on a weekend when pay channels were free on my cable provider. I had heard nothing good about it and I wanted to see if it was as bad as everyone was saying. I found it to be a mediocre movie at best.  I have since watched all but the last movie during more free weekends and found them to be challenged in the quality department as well.

Anyway since every element of the Twilight movies are sub par I thought maybe my opinion of Ms. Stewart may have been clouded by the atrociousness of the whole “saga” so I endeavored to put any negative thoughts aside and give her a chance as Snow White. My opinion of her is no different after watching this movie. To me she is like an empty shell walking through every scene she appears in. She comes across as totally ambivalent and cold towards anything and everything and radiates all the charm and energy of a spent light bulb. I simply do not see the appeal.  She appears to be in a constant state of lethargic anxiety if that makes any sense.

Snow

Okay now open your mouth and stare blankly. Good, good.

Snow III

Okay now open your mouth and stare blankly. Good, good.

Snow II

Okay now open your mouth and stare blankly. Good, good.

Stewart looks ludicrous in armor riding at the front of her army. She is far too fragile looking and unenergetic to be a plausible driving force. Her character didn’t seem cut out for fighting in the first place so placing her in this position is not a very believable plot element.

Snow V

Snort, giggle, hee hee. Sorry I don’t buy Snow’s sudden conversion into Xena at the end. She would be dead in two seconds.

The character of the Queen is not that interesting. She is a shallow bitch that appears to hate everything. Why she even wants to be the ruler of the kingdom is beyond me seeing as she gets no pleasure from anything. There is no aspect of her personality that begs for even a smidgeon of sympathy. I simply found her pathetic. Her brother was a far more interesting character who unfortunately was not developed to the full extent.

What was the point of the Huntsman character? He was an unlikable drunk who only seemed to be around to plant the kiss on Bland White’s lips. I think I would have combined the Huntsman and William characters together instead of trying to create another lame triangle.

Huntsman

Combine these two characters and you would have one strong character instead of two weak characters.

William

If one more movie uses the whole generic prophecy story line crap again I am going to open a can of major whoop ass.  Does every hero have to be “The One”?  Can anyone in Hollywood think of anything different than a chosen character who is prophesied to destroy evil yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah.

I like Bob Hoskins but his character was a bit off-kilter and creepy in this movie.

Random thoughts and observations:

Is White Snow’s middle name or is White her last name?

No one seems to refer to Snow White by her given name. It’s almost like they were trying to distance themselves from the fact that they based this movie on the Snow White mythos. Also maybe they realized how stupid it sounds to go around calling someone Snow White.

As you watch this movie pay close attention to the English accents of Stewart and Theron. They both say or shout “Fatha”, “Daughta”, “Brotha”, and similar words quite a bit.  It’s like they tweaked the screenplay to give them an easier time with the accents.

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review – Snow White and the Huntsman

  1. Good review Rob. I think this director will take a lot from this project and will be a name to look out for though, and the good aspects far outweigh the mumblings.

    • Thanks. Give the director better characters to work with and he will do just fine. I enjoyed the movie it just needed more meat on the bone.

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