Sunday, June 3, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman - Movie Review

From the moment the first trailer debuted for "Snow White and the Huntsman", the excitement meter was stuck on high as it looked like Universal was taking a story that people primarily know from the classic Disney animated feature and giving it a darker, more action-packed vibe. Oh, and people also wondered what that chick from Twilight was doing in this awesome looking movie.

Of course, you know the story of Snow White (Kirsten Stewart), the evil queen (Charlize Theron), the dwarfs, and the apple, but what you didn't know was that Snow White can handle a sword, there is a huntsman guy (Chris Hemsworth) that figures prominently in the story, and the queen, who's name is Ravenna, has a brother (Sam Spruell) that shares in her magical curse and acts as her right hand man.

All of the basic elements of the Snow White story are here, but things are much darker and less of a fairy tale than what you might be used to. Ravenna moves in to the castle, kills the King, takes over the throne, and looks to stay in office past her normal term thanks to a magic spell that, while giving her special powers and making her look super hot like Charlize Theron, also takes its toll on her over time.

The newly self-crowned queen learns from her magic mirror that if she kills Snow White she will live forever and will achieve all her goals, which seem to include bathing in milk. Snow White escapes before being killed (otherwise the movie is much shorter) and runs off in to a supposedly evil forest that seems to be filled with hallucinogens (I know, right?).

Ravenna isn't happy about this at all so she forces The Huntsman (we never do learn his name yet the ladies don't seem to care) to go capture her, but he ends up having other ideas, the dwarfs get involved, and we are now well on our way to what promises to be an exciting conclusion.

Where the movie runs in to trouble is how there is a serious lack of excitement during any part from beginning to end. The special effects were all just so so, the fighting sequences were all very bland and often felt rushed, and the acting across the board was just plain mediocre.

Yeah, Ms. Theron brings some serious enthusiasm to her role, but you pretty much expect the villain to be the most charismatic and outlandish person on the screen so no bonus points earned there.

One of the key elements about the Snow White story is that the title character must be more beautiful than the evil queen otherwise there is no threat. Don't get me wrong, Stewart is very attractive, but when you put her up against Theron, there is no competition.

Throw in the fact that Snow White had a rugged, dirty, and haggard look throughout the movie compared to Ravenna looking all hot and queen-like and this very important piece of the story just did not work.

I'm sure the female portion of the audience was swooning over Chris Hemsworth, but even he seemed to be just going through the motions compared to what he's done on Star Trek and Thor. I was hoping that Kristen Stewart would be able to deliver a stand out performance, but she did absolutely nothing to raise her stature among movie fans.

I will say that this was the first directorial effort of any kind for Rupert Sanders so maybe he deserves a little slack, but the material he was given to work with really deserved to be in more capable hands. The best way to describe how I feel about "Snow White and the Huntsman" is that it was like watching two hours of deleted scenes from the bonus disc of a much better movie.

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