Snow White is far from my favorite fairy tale princess. The fact that she is being played by Kristen Stewart isn’t very enticing either. But all the talk, and the mixed reviews was enough to make me curious so I ventured out for “Snow White and the Huntsman.”
This version is much darker than the Disney version and probably closer to the Grimm Brothers original tale. Stewart plays Snow and was imprisoned after Ravenna (Charlize Theron) married and killed the king, Snow’s father. One day, Snow escapes the castle and the queen calls for the best hunter around (Chris Hemsworth) to find her.
Snow White is the fairest of them all and destined to defeat the queen and blah, blah, blah there are some short people involved and you know how this story goes.
I have to give the director, Rupert Sanders, style points. This film was visually stunning. The special effects are amazing and really creative. And given the fact that this is one of Sanders first movies, it’s even more impressive. I wish an equal amount of time would have been put into the character and story development.
For the most part, these characters are nothing but cardboard cutouts in chainmail, with the exceptions of Ravenna and the Huntsman. Even Snow, the supposed heroine of the film isn’t given much to do but stand there and look pretty.
When the posters and trailers star Stewart leading the charge in her armor and wielding a sword you’d think she’d have a little more depth in her character. In an article for moviereviews.com Louisa Mellor writes about female fairy tale leads, “Even an ironing board might look brave for a bit if you fling it into a medieval melee, but it doesn’t make it a role-model.”
Ravenna and the Huntsman were both given back stories that helped you understand their motivations and reasonings behind things. They were given a bit more depth to their characters.
Another problem I had with this film is the casting of Stewart, or maybe more the timing of it. Stewart has made a long list of movies but she’s still in the middle of the “Twilight” franchise and it’s impossible not to watch her and draw comparisons to Bella Swan. Now, maybe if this movie came out in 2-3 years, with some more distance between her and Bella, it’d be easier to like her.
That same argument could be made for Hemsworth who we’ll still be seeing in “Thor” and “Avenger” sequels for the next few summers. The only difference is that Thor is likeable whereas Bella could be replaced by a bag of potatoes and make a more interesting movie.
Like Thor, Hemsworth’s Huntsman oozes charm and charisma and walks around with the swagger and bravado of a, well, God of Asgard. The Huntsman is also given more of the comedic lines to break to tension and Hemsworth delivery is spot-on. Besides playing the hammer-holding God, with his roles in other films such as “Star Trek,” “Cabin in the Woods,” and the upcoming “Expendables 2” Hemsworth is building quite a name for himself.
Theron is also very good as the evil queen. She’s beautiful and truly terrifying. The oscar-winning actress’ death scene is stunning and her performance makes you almost feel sorry for her.
Besides the Huntsman’s quick quips here and there the job of comedic relief fell upon the dwarfs. I never did get a head count so I can’t tell you exactly how many there were. Using CGI, they were able to cast some great actors as the vertically-challenged miners including: Ian McShane, David Frost, Bob Hoskins, and Toby Jones.
This movie had a lot of good elements, it just never came together to make a film I can fully recommend. There were pieces I enjoyed, but I left the theater without anything being particularly memorable.