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Movie Review: 'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Snow White & The Huntsman

Starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron
Directed by Rupert Sanders
Rated PG-13

I still remember way back when the trailers to both this film and Mirror, Mirror were released.  I thought this film looked interesting and cool, while Mirror, Mirror was one of the worst things I had ever seen.  I can't think of a time when I was more wrong about a movie.  Granted, I haven't seen Mirror, Mirror, but I think it's safe to say it's the better of this wretched pile of putrid sh-*ahem*.  But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Snow White & The Huntsman is a dark reworking of the classic fairy tale starring Kristen Stewart & Chris Hemsworth as the two title characters.  Playing the role of the evil Queen Ravenna is Charlize Theron.  The plot mimics the original story, with the main difference being that when Snow White escapes the evil queen, she runs off to a group of hidden rebels, only running into the Huntsman and the seven dwarves on the way.

I'll get my one compliment for this movie's story out of the way: the Queen Ravenna is extremely well executed, both written and acted effectively.  She comes off as appropriately evil and menacing, yet has a back story that gives her sympathy and depth.  In a (much, much) better movie, she would have come out as one of the more memorable villains of the genre.

I was originally going to claim this script felt like it was written by a machine, but even that would be giving it too much credit.  A machine would have thought to give its main characters something to actually do, or some kind of impact on the plot.  There is absolutely no reason for the filmmakers to have added & The Huntsman to the title, because Chris Hemsworth's character is useless.  He saves Snow White from danger near the beginning, and then just tags along the rest of the time.  Well, he does do one important thing towards the end, but it's a stupid deus ex machina that doesn't even make sense within the context of the plot.  Sam Claflin (the missionary from the fourth Pirates of the Carribean movie) has a role, but his character is so pointlessly shoveled in, I'm not even going to bother describing him.  The writers didn't put any effort into including him; Why should I?

Snow White is the only protagonist who has something to do with the movie, but it's all undone by just how blank her character is.  To call her one dimensional would be a horrible lie.  I sincerely cannot think of a single character trait to ascribe to her.  Some of the blame will inevitably go to Kristen Stewart, but it isn't really her fault.  No actress could possibly get something out of this role.  George Lucas on his worst day could never hope to write a character as boring and devoid of personality as her.

The seven dwarves, and I'm already getting tired of having to say this, are undeveloped and useless.  They have a bit more to do with the plot then the other non Snow White characters, but that's saying very little.  They do, if nothing else, inject just a smidgeon of humor to this movie, and that's something it sorely needs.

Even with all of the previously mentioned script problems, this movie could have bearable if it was fun or entertaining, but it isn't.  It's a dark, depressing, joyless chore to sit through.  None of the action scenes are exciting.  None of the characters ever express any believable kind of enthusiasm or happiness, even when the plot says they should be.  What little of the fairy tail whimsy that remains in this adaptation is just there to make the dark parts look darker.

This is the part where I also have to praise the films visuals, which are pretty stunning.  I'll just leave it at that, because the last thing I want to do is say anything positive.

This is a movie that desperately needs to die.  The industry has been fledgling lately, and with tripe like this, it isn't hard to see why.  The saddest thing is that this could have been a classic.  It had the idea, it had the budget, it even had the talent.  It just didn't have what it needed the most.

Reader Comments (4)

the movie is awesome your have no sense of visual effects, the acting for snow white is adequate considering she was locked up for her whole life in a tower, she should be dry but still simpathetic, the huntsman guides her through the whole thing!

Friday, June 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

Damn David! I guess you didn't care for it. hahahaha

Saturday, June 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry Fleming

One Abiding Dude is more than being generous for this movie. I would give it a zero. I can count how many words Snow White says in this movie.

She was locked up in the tower for her whole life, but somehow she can survive in a battlefield?

Sunday, June 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMr. K

I think this is the best movie of the summer so far and even though there's more to come, I think it'll be among the top three by the end. I think your review is typical of one polarity that's emerged on this and it seems there's a segment that wants this to literally BE as in depth as Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones and not just styled like it. Granted, perhaps ultimately they maybe should have indeed done that but then the complaint would be it was too long. Also it might have been that they could have gotten SO in depth with these revisioned characters it would have been TOO unrecognizable from the original tale. That might even have been a good idea but the obvious idea here is to just reinvent the Snow White tale for a cinematic era touched more by the fantasy genre than any before it and at that it succeeds epically. Take a breath and slow down and just appreciate the expanded canvas THIS rendition is gorgeously illustrated on and that darker, twister version where every character's motivation and purpose is far more finely drawn our from the original story IS INDEED rendered, just like the one you'd prefer in your head. For the rest of us, for now - this Snow White tale is fair enough.

Monday, June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ.Bradley

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