Review: Snow White and the Huntsman
Jun 2, 2012 / 2:00 pm
You might find it surprising, but I have always been a really big fan of Snow White.
Of course I'm talking about the original Disney animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and the main reason I'm such a fan is primarily for the dwarves and the humour that they bring to the story.
Earlier this year we had a re-telling of the fairy tale called Mirror Mirror that also depicted the dwarves as mischievous and fun. Sadly, in the new film Snow White and the Huntsman the humour is almost non existent and the dwarves play a significantly diminished part. Now, I'm not saying that the film is bad or anything, it's just an entirely different take on the material and a decidedly dark one at that. Ok, let me back track a little and give you a rundown of the story in case you've never heard of Snow White before.
Charlize Theron plays Ravenna the evil queen who upon their wedding night murders the king and subsequently imprisons his daughter, Snow White, in a tower. Once Snow White grows up and becomes Kristen Stewart she escapes the castle and makes her way to the dark forest where all forms of creepy creatures dwell. The queen, who has just learned that Snow is the fairest of them all realizes that she will need to consume Snow's heart in order to keep her power and eternal beauty, so she hires a huntsman, played by Thor - oops, I mean Chris Hemsworth - to track down Snow and bring her back. Of course, once he lays his eyes on Snow he has a change of heart and decides to help protect her and aid in her quest to reclaim her rightful place in the kingdom.
Directed by first time filmmaker Rupert Sanders, Snow White and the Huntsman is a solemn and brooding interpretation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. It is definitely in stark contrast to any previous incarnation of the story and that is what makes it somewhat interesting. I say somewhat because as beautiful as the film is to look at it tends to drag a fair bit and at just over 2 hours it's too long. There are some spectacular set pieces throughout the film, however, and the special effects are great.
When we finally meet up with the dwarves half way into the picture I was amazed how the filmmakers were able to render them with the use of digital effects. I just wish they would have gotten more screen time since they cast such great British character actors to play them like Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan and Ian McShane.
Charlize Theron does a fine job portraying the queen as a sinister, power hungry woman but she screamed a little too much for my taste. Kristen Stewart is capable as Snow White but she doesn't bring anything overly special to the table and I didn't really buy that she was the fairest in the land when Charlize is so stunningly beautiful. Chris Hemsworth is quite solid as the heroic huntsman. He has a lot of presence and I think studios will do well to keep casting him in action or fantasy roles.
Overall, if you are a big fan of fantasy films with some spectacular battle sequences and plenty of visual flair then you should find something here to your liking. I enjoyed Snow White and the Huntsman but I didn't go nuts for it.
I give it a 6 out of 10.
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