Snow White and the Huntsman

In all honesty, I had rejected this movie in my mind prior to going into it.

Snow White is not some warrior in shining armor leading an army. She’s not. Snow White wears that blue and red and yellow taffeta dress with the poofy freaking shoulders and when she’s not hanging with her dwarfish friends or chowing apples, she sings to birds. Ok? That’s Snow White.

So perhaps this is all overreaction to my complete underestimation of it, but “Snow White and the Huntsman” was an excellent, highly entertaining movie. More than just a retelling of the Snow White tale, it’s an epic fantasy story, replete with mythical creatures, knights in armor, a princess in a tower and a very, very wicked witch.

I don’t know if it’s the fairest of them all, but it’s easily worth a trip to the movies.

“Snow White and the Hunstman” takes the broad framework of the Snow White fairy tale and then fleshes the story out with completely different details. The Wicked Queen (Charlize Theron) keeps her youth now by feeding on souls, and her reign has desolated the kingdom. The deceased King’s daughter, Snow White (Kristen Stewart), has been imprisoned in a prison tower since his death. On her 18th birthday, however, the Queen’s magic mirror suddenly gives a different response to the “Who’s the fairest” inquiry. Seeking to have her killed immediately, the Queen has Snow White sent for, but this only triggers an escape from the castle.

In order to retrieve her, the Queen is forced to hire a drunken widower of a huntsman (due to his familiarity with the magic forest). He’s a mess of a man, still grieving over the loss of his wife. When the Queen promises to use her magic to return his beloved departed to him, he agrees to hunt Snow White. What he doesn’t count on is what will happen when he finally meets her…

Once she’s out in the wild, Snow White encounters all sorts of creatures of a mythical nature, not the least of which are the Seven Dwarves. Several notable actors are mixed in amongst them, such as Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Nick Frost, Ray Winstone and Toby Jones. These dwarves aren’t played strictly for laughs or comic relief (although there are touches here and there), but instead are serious allies for her, and actually provide some of the movie’s most dramatic moments.  

And there are dramatic moments. Right from the outset, it’s apparent that Theron is putting everything she has into the role of the Wicked Queen, which makes the character quite an imposing figure. Hemsworth’s accent takes a little getting used to, but he does well as a staggering, self-pitying lout. Kristen Stewart isn’t asked to do much, so she doesn’t slow the movie one iota.

Which is good, because “Snow White and the Huntsmen” is a well produced fantasy epic, weaving a tale of dark, dangerous forests and faerie-filled meadows, wicked queens and magic apples. An ax wielding huntsman allies with a princess and eventually some dwarves, and they’re all pursued by dead-eyed archers across a sprawling kingdom. There’s some serious magic at play at times here – movie magic. In fact, for a quite a while, I wondered if I was watching a great movie.

The finale didn’t quite live up to the promise of the second act for me, but in no way was it bad, nor was it enough of a let down to change my assessment of the film. This is a fun story. A real attempt at epic fairy tale storytelling. It has great production values, excellent special effects, and it showcases a remarkable performance by Charlize Theron as Ravenna, the Wicked Queen.

Excellent summer entertainment. Spectacle with a touch of seriousness. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

A-

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57 thoughts on “Snow White and the Huntsman

  1. Glad to see someone else liked this as much as me! I initially had high expectations, then lowered them a bit after it came out. When I saw it I kept waiting for the things other people complained about to effect me but they never did. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.

    I’m also one of the few who kinda like Kristen Stewart. It’s probably me rooting for an underdog (I did the same for Channing Tatum) but there’s something about her that interests me. In other roles, like Meet the Riley’s she takes on characters that are really different and I think she excels more so than what she’s mainly known for. So, in that regards she had less to prove to me in this and I thought she did fine in the role. I can’t think of who I would replace her with other than maaaaybe Jennifer Lawrence who’s tied up obviously.

    Who did you like more as Snow White, Lily Collins or Stewart?

    • Oh. Collins, for sure, she had the look. I mean, she looks like she’s 14, but she has the Snow White face.

      But comparing the movies? Oh my lord, SNatH. LOL. Hands down and then some!

      In fairness, my experience with Stewart is limited. Have not seen Mett the Rileys. I REALLY like Adventureland, and thought she was really good there. But that’s a part that just could have been written to her strengths… “Shy Girl” you know? I’ve never seen a Twilight movie, but have comitted to a marathon when they hit blu. LOL :D

      I dont know who I would replace her with here either, I thought she did fine, but now that I watch movies with my reviewers hat on Jess? I DID notice they protected her quite a bit. For a Snow White movie, she wasn’t exactly front and center all the time. And during her “rousing speech” they showed a lot of reaction shots while they should have been showing her…

      That said though, she didnt hamper this at ALL for me! I enjoyed it. Very much, I was surprised. And now Im glad there will be a sequel! :D

  2. Caught this one at a second run theater last weekend and I’m glad I saw it on the big screen. The hub and I both thought it was a cut above. I really enjoyed it and agree with your review. Performances and special effects generally very good, storytelling was satisfying, textured, well paced and not too pat – when was the last time we saw a movie like this that went for a (slightly) open ended ending about her romantic preference? Brave choices that I think worked. I also loved the way they used birds as a motif (gotta love Theron’s skull dress. Awesome!) and made Hemsworth so central and made that work. Kristen Stewart ‘didn’t detract’ as you say, was a little annoying when emoting, but she certainly looked right for the part.

  3. I finally watched this movie over the weekend. OMG! It made me so frustrated! I loved everything about it other than Kristen Stewart. She just ruined every moment she was in. Theron and Helmsworth were amazing. The filming was amazing. The story was good. But the sorta used but not used love triangle was dumb. Helmsworth carried Stewart in every scene. This could have been so good but it just failed. Now this is all my opinion. I really thought most of the movie was freaking amazing, except for Snow White. She looks like she’s about to vomit half the time. She can’t act. She had no chemistry. And I have to admit she pales in comparison to Theron. It’s like the mirror played a nasty joke on her to compair the two. I really wish they had picked a girl who could stand with shoulder to shoulder with Theron and Helmsworth. This movie would have been epic if they had. Once again, just my opinion. So close to being freaking amazing…so close.

    • True, and that’s why it didnt get a higher grade from me. I was very impressed with it too. Ans Snow White didnt bother me all that much, but I did recognize that they were minimizing her… protecting the fact that she sucks as an actress by not giving her a big role, and when she did have moments (like her inspirational speech) They worked around her…

      It’s too bad, this could have been EPIC.

      I still thought it was really good though, even with her having… issues. :D

      They learned their lesson. Reportedly she will NOT be taking part in the sequel. Dunno how theyre gonna do that, but I think it’ll wind up being “Someone Else and the Huntsman” LOL

  4. Pingback: Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) | The Reel Collection

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