Speaking candidly, I wasn’t sure just exactly what I was expecting from Snow White and the Huntsman. I was picking up an Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton) vibe from the trailers, which was off putting from the get go. I was extremely disappointed in Tim Burton’s go with Wonderland, which followed his usual trend of all style and no substance. However, I looked passed it and eventually gave in to Snow White’s marketing.
Much like with Alice in Wonderland this movie left a lot to be desired. For the first hour the movie just plowed through everything with little time devoted to exposition. The first 45 minutes were filled with over dramatic delivery of lines from Ravenna/Charlize Theron. It wasn’t until The Huntsman/Chris Hemsworth appears on screen that things start to take a small, but more favorable direction.
Chris Hemsworth is one of the few characters to bring any sort of dynamic to the story. He provides some much needed humor to liven up the movie as well as helping it progress at a much better pace. He’s also in the rare group of characters that had any sort of depth to him, but I think it’s a sign of how much depth we get to any of the characters when the one with the most development is just named, “The Huntsman.” As good as he was though, he alone couldn’t save the movie.
Along with Hemsworth, the cast of the Dwarves also helped change the pacing of the movie and made it a little more enjoyable. The Dwarves, like The Huntsman, had actual character to them, but not much. It was handled in a brief five-minute story that explained their backgrounds collectively, so it wasn’t like we even got to know about them individually. Honestly, I don’t even know if we’re ever introduced to their names. They were the comic relief of the movies but whether in editing or the actors themselves, it was hard to understand when they delivered their lines leaving me wondering what they were saying instead of laughing. Now I know this is being extremely nitpicky but there was something distracting about seeing familiar faces that were edited to look like dwarves in post.
The movie was filled with cookie-cutter plot lines and characters that were not memorable in the slightest. We’re never given enough time to get emotionally attached or invested with anyone aside from the generic, “here are the bad guys, here are the good guys,” caricatures. The movie sticks with the “Beauty is Power” theme but at points it just feels like we are beaten over the head with it that it just gets old after a while.
I also feel that someone forgot that they had casted Kristin Stewart as Snow White or even that Snow White was in the movie at all. She had very little lines, and often times felt as though she was just there to be there. I know the common trend lately is to hate on Kristin Stewart but I don’t even feel there’s enough of a part that she played to hate on.
Now the movie does have some merits. If anything this movie was a flex of special effects save for one horrendous scene towards the end of the movie. To get into specifics would spoil it but I know that you’ll immediately point it out as soon as you see it. I have no idea how it got past the editing room but it definitely felt like a scene from maybe ten years ago. That aside, there are some gorgeous animations, and a lot of believable action scenes with CGI enemies. Which leads into the next merit. The action scenes, though mild, were interesting, especially the final battle of the movie. I’d actually wager that most of the development and work was devoted to the end of this movie as opposed to the first hour and half seeing as how the whole second act was a lot better than the first. The movie definitely needed a better first act to care about anything in the end though, which left the triumphant of the good guys feeling hollow.
There’s also a confusing scene early on in the movie that had me questioning some other points in the movie. Ravenna/Theron is seen talking to the mirror on the wall when her brother stares at her from just outside the room. We see the brother’s point of view and are shown that Ravenna is talking to herself in front of the mirror instead of the actual personification of the mirror that we see from her point of view. Then later on when Snow White makes it to the Dark Forest we see that she has been hit with some sort of hallucinogenic powder that makes the forest seem to come alive. My question is, are the monsters and unique animals that we see on screen real or just a by-product of the hallucinogen from the powder? Are Snow White and The Huntsman in any danger at all? Is Ravenna just insane or does she actually possess magical powers and magical mirrors? It just makes a lot of the movie seem confusing.
Snow White and The Huntsman features nice special effects and animation but the stiff dialogue and acting from the main cast as well as a very boring and flat plot creates a very forgettable movie. There are few redeeming qualities of this movie that it makes it hard to recommend it to anyone. It’s a very straight forward movie that plows through a lot of the two hour so at best you could tough it out to see some of the special effects but I wouldn’t say it’s worth the 127 minutes to get through.
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