The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Writer: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Craig Mazin
Prequel/sequel to: Snow White and the Huntsman
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith, Alexandra Roach, Sope Dirisu, Sam Hazeldine, Sam Claflin, Sophie Cookson, Colin Morgan
Seen on: 23.4.2016
Together with many other children Eric (Chris Hemsworth) was drafted/enslaved in the army of Ice Queen Freya (Emily Blunt), Ravenna’s (Charlize Theron) sister. For Freya, who was disappointed in love herself, the most important rule was that there would be no feelings, especially no love, between the children or anybody else for that matter. Despite that, Eric fell in love with Sara (Jessica Chastain), a fellow warrior. Things did not end well. Now many years later, Eric finds himself facing Freya once more after he is charged by King William (Sam Claflin) to bring the dead Ravenna’s magic mirror to a safe space because it is making Snow White dangerously ill.
Snow White and the Huntsman was a spectacular failure, laying the bar very low for The Huntsman: Winter’s War. The film steps easily over that low bar, surpassing expectations. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a high-flying success. But at least Huntsman is way more entertaining than Snow White.
I don’t want to give the impression that the film is particularly great. It’s not. It wins only in comparison to the first one and there not on all accounts. And since apparently even the makers of this film knew that Snow White was a desaster, they decided not to give too many fucks about it. There is so much inconsistency/retconning going on in this film, it’s simply astounding, qualifying Huntsman only barely as a prequel/sequel.
Be that as it may, the film is generally entertaining, especially if your expectations are so low, they’re basically subterranean. It doesn’t have that much of a better story and logic is not its strong suit either, but the cast is basically magic. When you put Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron and Jessica Chastain in a film together, that film could be the unabridged adaptation of the phone book and it would probably still work (I wouldn’t have minded if Kristen Stewart would have been part of that mix as well, but we never get to see Snow White).
I also enjoyed Nick Frost and Rob Brydon, but from all of the supporting cast, it’s Sheridan Smith who won my heart the most. She is absolutely brilliantly funny and can make a role that isn’t all that new shine and sparkle as if it was. More than once the little love story that develops between her character Mrs Bromwyn and Gryff (Rob Brydon) made me squeal it was so cute. (Although I’m usually not a fan of relationships where a woman’s no is shown to be a challenge to woo her more.)
Visually the film has a lot to offer, continuing the strength of the first film, though it isn’t always that spectacular. But at least everytime Freya and Ravenna make an appearance, it’s pretty damn awesome.
Still, I wouldn’t say that this film has to be seen. But if you’re looking for an entertaining fantasy spectacle, this could be a choice you don’t necessarily need to regret.