Snow White and the Huntsman Review
Not bad if you can swallow a few plot holes.
I saw this right before leaving for Italy and I hope you can forgive me if I have taken my seeing and enjoying this fabulous country more seriously than sharing my opinion of the film. On the one hand I feel guilty about letting this (and a bunch of other movies like Prometheus and Rock of Ages) sit on the shelf. On the other hand really I feel no guilt whatsoever. This is the first real vacation I have had in years.
Anyway, I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. It does have it’s issues, each hanging over the script like a veritable Sword of Damocles except instead of swords each thread suspends a medium sized bag of dog poo. If you stand in one place too long eventually you will be struck by one.
However, if you can keep moving along with the pace of the movie you can avoid most of the poo and just have to deal with the lingering stench. This film is definitely several steps above the other, more schizophrenic Snow White remake Mirror Mirror. At least it tried to maintain a consistent tone. The acting ran from mediocre to very good, and the story didn’t land too far into lala land (it did, however, take a nice trip through the Valley of Plot Holes).
I’ll get into some of the more egregious plot holes when I do the black holes, but there is one that annoyed me throughout the movie. The Evil Queen Revenna (Charlize Theron-Hancock, Young Adult, the Italian Job) has a spell that helps her stay young and hot as long as she is the fairest in the land. The magic mirror tells her Snow White (Kristin Stewert-Twilight, Twilight, and more Twilight) is destined to out do her in the looks department. Unless as part of the aging process Kristin Stewart was destined to get a full body, face, and personality transplant there is no way she could ever be more fair than Charlize Theron. Charlize is a super hot woman who breathes sensuality into her role with every breath while Kristin Stewart is basically a Real Doll that can move.
Anyway, the story. Honestly, just reread my Mirror Mirror review and you more or less have it, only with the King actually dead. In another impact crater sized plot hole the widowed king meets Revenna after rescuing her from a fake army, they get married 24 hours later, and he dies of natural causes (being stabbed in the chest repeatedly is a natural way to die, right?) in bed with her that night. Somehow no one but some duke we never really get to meet calls shenanigans on this and the kingdom is placed under a terrible curse.
Fast forward 10 years. The magic mirror tells the queen she needs to eat the heart of Snow White in order to remain young forever. She has been keeping Snow White locked in a tower all this time (where somehow she is in awesome shape, can fight with a blade, and is a great swimmer. The tower must also be home to a 24 Hour Fitness) but instead of simply walking up there and gutting her she sends her idiot brother to fetch her. Snow White managed to escape through a sewer and runs into the Black Forest.
At this point the queen does not send in her entire army but rather recruits a local huntsman (Chris Helmsworth-the Avengers, Thor, the Cabin in the Woods) who is the only human to enter the forest and survive or something. He obviously doesn’t want to do it but is coerced by being told Revenna can resurrect his dead wife (zombie wife!). They enter the forest, find Snow White, he has the painfully obvious change of heart, and the rest of the movie is a quest to kill the queen.
The stars. I thought Charlize Theron was excellent. As I said in my review of Young Adult the one role she excels at is the cold, heartless bitch and honestly it rings a lot more true here. One star. While derivative the story was engaging and interesting. Nice twist on a lot of the old story. One star. Excellent visuals and CGI. Everything works well visually. On star. Charlize Theron is always easy on the eyes. One star. I thought Chris Helmsworth did an admirable job with what he was given, and seems to be the only character to actually describe a full arc. One star. Pacing and direction were good. One star. The fight with the troll was excellent. One star. I thought the Seven Dwarfs were pretty cool, although none of them were allowed to develop. One star. Overall very entertaining. Two stars. Total: ten stars.
The black holes. While none of the plot holes were truly gargantuan, they were numerous. Two black holes. I can tell you from personal experience the last thing you want to assault a castle wall with is heavy cavalry. Just dumb. One black hole. The idea that Kristin Stewart is supposed to be fairer than Charlize Theron is laughable, and in this movie her performance was wooden and formulaic. One black hole. A dumb fatalistic sub plot lifted directly from Star Wars (and not good Star Wars. I’m talking Episode 2. Republic image courtesy of the Star Wars T-Shirt category). One black hole. As cool as Queen Revenna was, her dopey brother was dumb and annoying. He was like having Shemp from the Three Stooges shoved into the Godfather. He did nothing but screw up. One black hole. Total: six black holes.
A grand total of four stars. Not bad. Well worth seeing, and some of the visuals do cry out for a large screen. However, I think if you have a decently sized TV you could probably survive with NetFlix. Date movie? Meh. Sort of. It wouldn’t be a mistake, but it also wouldn’t be my first choice. Bathroom break? I’d say the scene in town introducing the Huntsman as a drunken brawling loser. Not a lot added to his character there, especially since he more or less doesn’t get wasted enough to impact the movie again. If that is too soon in the movie I’d say any of the scenes involving the duke and his son. Felt very much like filler.
Thanks for reading. I get back from Italy tomorrow about 4pm and may well celebrate by seeing a movie. However, I have some horrible films to see. Rock of Ages and That’s my Boy look to be excruciating. However, as astute and regular readers I’m sure you have figured out the bad ones make for the funniest reviews. I am looking forward to seeing Prometheus, and next weekend promises to be very cool movie wise.
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