Huntsman: Winter's War

The Huntsman: Winter's War

Imagine you took your four-year old to the movies Frozen, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of The Rings back to back and then asked them to tell you what the stories were about, in no particular order. 

The resulting rambling tale would come close to the incongruous, disconnected, and random plot line offered in The Huntsman: Winter’s War

How the producer ever convinced a studio to cough up $115 million dollars to produce this turkey is a complete mystery. Equally mysterious is why such talented superstars as Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain would ever agree to take it on – ladies, your careers are still becoming established, please read your scripts and choose more carefully. These things stick to you forever. One suspects that there were contractual obligations involved.

It is a terrible shame to waste the formidable acting talents of this cast who (try as they might) cannot emote enough to make a bewildered audience care about anything that happens in the film.

Chris Hemsworth is handsome and charming as the hero/love interest of Chastain, but his accent slips in and out of Welsh, Scottish, and some kind of marbles-in-your-mouth general Celtic. Unfortunately, there is no chemistry between our hero and Chastain, so despite their physical beauty as a couple, we just don’t believe in them and so we are disinterested in the final outcome of the climactic battle.

I would attempt to lay out a story line for you but it is so convoluted and complicated, I hardly know where to begin. In the interest of brevity, I will simply say that this film is, at its core, a treasure rescue story complete with villains (two sisters), heroes (love interests) and comedy relief (two sets of dwarves who also become love interests) - no really - I’m not making that up. Along the way, we are treated to an infanticide by a father, a husband’s murder, a sister’s betrayal, and a lover’s misunderstanding. 

Thanks to an enormous CGI budget, we are also treated to menacing creatures that look like a gargoyle mated with an ORC, ice walls that spring up on command, rivers of molten gold, and forest plant/creatures that might have been leftover footage from Avatar. 

This film is dark, and could give The Revenant a run for its money in chilled, grey lighting. Save for one foray into the forest, every scene is gloomy and grey and cold. It’s a shame that the lighting is so bland as some of the costumes Theron and Blunt get to wear are truly spectacular and would have looked even better given proper lighting. Kudos to the costume designer who deserves a nod for some very beautiful work.

I hate waste. I hate waste of money, waste of talent, and most of all, waste of my time. This is one film where I’d like to get my two hours and three minutes back. Save your time and money – this one’s not even a Netflix watch. 

Movie locations and times

I give this movie one heart (and that’s only for great costumes on a gorgeous cast).

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About the Author

Kim Foreman-Rhindress is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and London Western Conservatory of music for piano and voice. 

Kim has been performing in theatre and film for over 30 years in Canada, NYC, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands. She has written several plays which have been produced in Canada and the U.S., and is the founder of Kelowna Voice Lab - helping people find their voice, be it singing or acting. 

A working musician, she performs regularly in Kelowna with her husband, Jim Rhindress, in an acoustic duo Smitten, and with her vintage trio Kitsch 'n Sync.  

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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