Snow White and the Huntsman is a combination of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, and Beowulf, only nowhere near as good as Robin Hood and better than Beowulf.
Here’s a trailer:
Here are the deets:
Released June 1, 2012
Written by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini
Directed by Rupert Sanders
Starring Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Spruell, Ian McShane, Sam Claflin, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Ray Winstone, and Toby Jones
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Snow (Stewart) is the daughter of a woman very inspired by pure white precipitation, who also happens to be a queen. When the queen dies, the distraught father, distraught mind you, is almost immediately faced with an army that he must defeat. But then when the army is easily defeated, it being a phantom army, the king finds a captive lady who turns out to be Ravenna (Theron) and Ravenna is not what she seems. The king falls immediately in love and marries Ravenna the next day. She proceeds to kill him and take over the kingdom, imprisoning the young and pure Snow while a blight falls across the land.
See, the problem already is that for this plot to work, the king has to be first a jerk for falling in love days after he buries his beloved wife, and second a complete numbskull for not suspecting something when he finds himself falling for the ‘captive.’ Granted, Charlize Theron is ridiculously good-looking, but come on. Hinging the entire plot initiation on stupidity bothers me.
Moving on, Ravenna has a magic bronze mirror thingy that is kind of awesome and that tells her that she would be the fairest for sure and her magic would last forever if she killed Snow. So Ravenna keeps Snow captive.
What? Villains who keep the good guy captive for plot convenience deserve a painful death and their writers deserve even worse.
Then there’s the mirror. What is the mirror’s agenda? What’s with this thing’s power, its opinions and the way it manifests? Coolest effect of the movie, but totally not understood, so this is a rather wide plot hole.
Snow has some kind of power over nature so she is lead to a way to escape. When she gets away, Ravenna has Finn (Spruell), her brother, hunt her down. Finn hires a Huntsman (Hemsworth) who is a drunk to find the girl. The Huntsman obviously has some kind of baggage which is making him drink.
The rest of the film follows Snow and the Huntsman as they cross the land to escape Ravenna’s forces and power and gather an army to join them in conquering Ravenna. The ending is too easy, the dwarves are cool but somewhat disconcerting, and the love story is an afterthought.
The reasons this movie is good are because Kristen Stewart actually does some acting, Hemsworth, despite his charisma and studly appearance, does a fantastic acting job, and the story explores each character more than you might expect. Plus, the music is good and there’s plenty of battle and the movie is pleasant to look upon.
The reasons Snow White and the Huntsman isn’t great are that Charlize Theron somehow doesn’t connect with her rather shallow character, the plot hinges on stupidity and villains underestimating protagonists, and there’s just not that much to the story. It’s trying hard, but we all know how this thing’s going to unfold. Once one of the eight dwarves shows an unreasoning and pure love and devotion to Snow, you know what’s going to happen.
Truthfully, the movie tries hard, but it does the expected. Of course the initial meeting with the dwarves is going to be funny but also confrontational. Of course the person you think is Snow’s true love isn’t really. Of course she’s going to win. And win rather easily, all things considered.
Snow White and the Huntsman doesn’t ask much of audiences, but offers some visual goodies and a few fine performances from Hemsworth, Spruell, and McShane. It’s worth a matinee price.
Content warnings: some suggestive scenes with Charlize Theron disrobing, plenty of battle violence
Writing: 3.5 Acting: 4 Overall: 3.5
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