Sunday, June 3, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman review

Snow White and the Huntsman was one of my most anticipated movies of the summer. The trailers were fantastic and I loved the idea of a different spin on the Snow White tale. The clips came out and were fantastic and I was really excited going in. But I have to say that it missed the mark. Huntsman tries to be an epic Lord of the Rings style tale mixed with the mood of Alice in Wonderland. But it just didn't always work. Huntsman is better in its second half when the dwarfs are introduced and the battle scenes get crisper. The first hour is a boring slog though.

Snow White and the Huntsman tells the tale of Snow White, who is played by Kristen Stewart. Snow White's mother died and her father, the king, remarried the evil witch Ravenna (Charlize Theron) who kills the king and takes over the kingdom. She also imprisons Snow White. Snow White lives in the north tower dungeon for years as Ravenna puts her evil rule on the kingdom. When the mirror tells Ravenna that Snow White is the reason her power is waning, she orders her brother, Finn (Sam Spruell) to retrieve Snow White and bring the girl to her so that she can consume her heart and become immortal. Snow White injures Finn and escapes into the dark forest. Ravenna forces the drunken Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to hunt her down and bring her back to the kingdom. Snow White eventually finds herself teaming up with the Huntsman to lead a revolution against the evil queen.

The film had several good things about it. The visuals are absolutely fantastic and blew me away. The dwarfs, played by actors such as Ian McShane, Toby Jones, and Nick Frost hit the mark and gave some much needed comic relief to the ridiculously serious story. The actors are pretty good too with Stewart and Theron turning in good performances. Theron, despite not being as fantastic as everyone says, is still good. Hemsworth and Sam Clafin missed the mark. There is no reason for Clafin's character, William to be in the story and Hemsworth isn't given a lot to work with. The action is pretty good, though first time director Rupert Sanders has the same problem Peter Jackson did with the first LOTR movie. The action is cut too quickly and doesn't allow for good tracking shots. There are a lot of battle scenes; some good, some bad. The final siege is somewhat underwhelming and so is the climax between Ravenna and Snow White.

Now to the bad. The film doesn't pick up until the dwarfs show up, and even then it founders. The first hour and a half maybe is a boring slog that seems to go nowhere. I was only interested in seeing what Sam Spruell's character was going to do next. I thought that he was an interesting character that held my interest at some times. The film just never feels like it's going anywhere. Snow White is this loving person the whole movie and then she wakes up and just decides to give this angry, fiery speech about how we need to attack the queen and tell her to stick it. It just doesn't work. She will barely hurt a fly and now she's this butt-kicking warrior princess that kills at random. Really! They middle act is boring. The screenwriters seemed to run out of innovative ideas to happen to the characters. They have Finn and his men attack Snow White at least five times. For at least forty five minutes, they wander through the forest and I swore that I was watching Lawrence of Arabia with the desert scene. It was that boring.

All in all, Snow White and the Huntsman is not a terrible movie. It's okay and pretty much a rental. What they really needed was somebody to fill the middle section with interesting stuff. Snow White and the Huntsman could have been much better and is the summer's somewhat disappointing.

THE FINAL GRADE:  C-                                              (5/10)

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