Snow White and the Huntsman
Director: Rupert Sanders
Writer: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini
Based on: the Snow White fairy tale
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Sam Spruell, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, Johnny Harris, Brian Gleeson, Vincent Regan
10 years ago, Ravenna (Charlize Theron) killed the good king, imprisoned his daughter Snow White (Kristen Stewart) and took over the kingdom with her evil magic. But now that Snow White turned 18, she managed to escape her imprisonment. Since Ravenna desperately needs Snow White’s youth and beauty for her own magic, she sends the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) after her. But soon he rather joins Snow White in her fight against Ravenna.
Snow White and the Huntsman is the kind of film that opens with an apple tree in full bloom and ripe apples at the same time which tells you everything you need to know about the film: it puts style so high over substance that it leaves all logic far, far behind. Which would have been okay, if it wasn’t also incredibly boring.
The film is beautiful, there’s no doubt about it. You just have to look at the trailer to know that. Though most of its stunning imagery is stolen from other movies (the fairy forest from Legend, Ferngully and Avatar, with a special appearance from Princess Mononoke; quite a few scenes from Lord of the Rings, etc etc). But if we’re generous we can call that “referencing”, not stealing. And it does look good.
Charlize Theron is also brilliant, and not only because of her beauty and the amazing costumes she gets to wear. She wrangles everything she can from the role she’s been given. She didn’t get much to work with, but she makes the most of it. Neither Kristen Stewart nor Chris Hemsworth managed to do much with their roles, but they were given even less to work with, so it’s not really their fault. [The Huntsman never even gets a name. Which made me speculate that the quest for his name might be the plot for the planned sequel.] And can I just say, while I did enjoy all the dwarf-cameos, I think that it’s damn offensive that in a movie with eight potential roles for actual dwarves, none of them is played by one. It’s not like they get that many roles anyway.
The problem of this film is the writing, mostly. There’s just no sense behind most of it. Basic things are never clear like: Does the queen need beauty or youth? (Related: a bit of facial scarring does not make you so ugly that you’re immediately in the clear of magic relying on beauty. It wasn’t true in Beastly, it isn’t true here.) If it’s enough for her to open her mouth in the general vicinity of her victims to suck in the beauty/youth/whatevs, why does she need Snow White’s heart? And why hasn’t she just killed her before? I could go on and on and on with these questions, and that is just about the set-up and not even starting with the actual plot. [Also, I still think that it is kinda ridiculous to think that Kristen Stewart is prettier than Charlize Theron, though that just might be my personal preference. But still. Also, if you need beauty, you don’t send Chris Hemsworth away, you suck in his beauty, take that power and do your own hunting.]
I could have dealt with all of that, even with the completely pointless, coming out of nowhere, going nowhere love triangle, but the film was just way too long and completely boring. After the first hour, I was ready to be done with it and then it dragged on for another hour. And that was just painful.
Summarising: Doesn’t pay off.