The previews for Snow White and the Huntsman were gorgeous. People morphing into ravens and shards of obsidian, a T-1000 mirror, Charlize Theron bathing in a vat of white paint. All very cool visuals. So I was super excited to see all of these beautiful shots come together in one stunning example of marvelous movie making.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebSZOlCnXq0]
Sadly, I was sorely disappointed.
That’s not to say it was a bad film, it wasn’t, it just didn’t live up to my high expectations. Each scene is lovely, with superb visual fx, but the transitions between those scenes were awkward and choppy. The movie didn’t flow. The acting was good for the most part but Director Rupert Sanders seemed much more interested in the quality of acting in the close ups than in the wide shots. Perfect example is Charlize Theron. She looked and sounded terrifyingly ravishing in the close ups but cheesy and garish in the wide shots. This was a bit disheartening for me since she was the main reason I wanted to see this movie and I know just how brilliant she can be.
Snow White has been reinterpreted countless times since the middle ages. Being German, I grew up with the Grimm’s version in which the dwarves are nameless, Snow is woken up by the Prince’s inept servants as opposed to his kiss, and the evil queen is killed when she’s forced to dance to death in red hot iron shoes. Disney went and fraked that all up. (Fun fact, Dean Stockwell’s daddy voiced the prince in the Disney version. I can’t believe I actually know that.)
Warning: I try not to spoil things but I might so be warned.
This version is nothing like the Grimm’s version. The evil queen has a creepy brother (with an even more creepy haircut), the huntsman is a drunk widower (who doesn’t care if he dies…except that he does care), the prince isn’t a prince (he’s the son of a duke), the dwarves live in a fairy land full of psychedelic flora and fauna (and don’t whistle, work or have pickaxes), and Snow White is far more empowered (which is always nice). The giant elk in the forest with tree branch antlers is lovely and obviously supposed to be on the same level as Aslan but the scene where Snow approaches him is a pale imitation of the Lili/Unicorn scene in Legend.
Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna is otherworldly. She has a fantastic wardrobe that includes shoulder pads made from bones and lots of raven feathers (get it? Raven…Ravenna….?) She’s great at looking steely-eyed and has nailed the art of letting tears hover just on the cusp of her eye but not letting them fall. Whoever did her makeup and prosthetics should be nominated for an Oscar because WOW she looked incredible the entire time. Even when she was dying she was gorgeous. It turns out that Ravenna is a total spoiled brat throwing a giant man-hating temper tantrum. Which is really too bad because I bet she’s a wildcat in the sack.
Kristen Stewart is most definitely not fairer than Charlize Theron but she’s a very realistic kind of pretty and she does look really cute in her girly armor. To be honest, I kind of felt like I was watching one of the Twilight films during her scenes. Jumping off a cliff? Check. Being scared by giant beasts and falling backwards? Check. Having men stare at her while she’s unconscious? Check. Hair stuck to her lip while she’s saying something that’s supposed to be important except you don’t know what she said because you were distracted by the hair stuck to her lip? Check. As I mentioned before, at least she was an empowered version of Snow White. She wants to fight and kill her evil stepmother…though where she gets the strength to do that after being locked in a tiny tower cell for 10 years with no exercise is a mystery to me. But she’s got help. Birds guide her, horses wait around for her (then nose dive into mud which was HI-larious), and people are eager to help her (when they don’t look like they want to eat her…that was weird).
My boyfr….I mean, Chris Hemsworth brings his usual charm and comedic timing to the role of the Hunstman aka Eric. I love watching him fight. In my opinion, he’s one of the best movie fighters I’ve ever seen. The chemistry between him and KStew was virtually non-existent but it’s obvious how hard he’s trying to make it work anyway. The part where it was most evident is when he’s talking to a poisoned Snow. Without an acting partner in the way he’s able to deliver a very touching monologue to what he thinks is her corpse. He’s dirty and muddy for 99% of the movie and somehow that just makes him sexier. God, I love-hate him. I joke a lot about how hot Chris Hemsworth is and, it’s true, he’s insanely hot, but my love for him has much to more with the fact that he plays my favorite comic book character than the fact that he’s deliciousness on legs. I swear!
I totally thought that young William (aka the non-prince) was the kid who plays Bran on Game of Thrones. But apparently it’s not. Boo. Snow White’s little buddy grows up to be the guy from POTC: On Stranger Tides who falls in love with a mermaid. He was ok. Nothing remarkable. I was more interested in trying to figure out who plays his dad, the Duke. Then it hit me that he was the Captain in 300. I knew I recognized those eyes.
The dwarves are the best part of the movie, especially when they are penetrating the castle through the sewer system. They are funny, charming, and I want to live in the enchanted forest with them. The most notable are Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone and Toby Jones. You can’t go wrong with any of those actors.
The end of the movie is rather anti-climactic. You think you know which boy Snow is going to choose but they never show her making her decision…and the part where they should have shown her making her decision hangs on in weird movie purgatory for an uncomfortably long time. I wanted to shout at the screen “Stop standing there with your stupid tree branch and go kiss him dammit!” You wait the whole movie for the truly satisfying, sexy kissing action and they never deliver it. Lame.
The ending credits were beautiful though. Kind of Avengers-esque in that it has the camera hovering over close up shots of armor and swords and whatnot. Because I always sit through the credit crawl (and you should too) I noticed that the movie is dedicated to “Little Eira White” which caught my eye because I happen to know that Eira is “snow” in Welsh. So the film is dedicated to…itself.
Well ok then.
2 out of 5 Sci-Fives!