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Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

June 1, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman – A Universal Pictures’ Release

http://www.snowwhiteandthehuntsman.com/

Release Date: June 1st, 2012

Rated PG for violence

Running time: 127 minutes

Rupert Sanders (dir.)

Evan Daugherty (screenplay)

John Lee Hancock (screenplay)

Hossein Amini (screenplay)

James Newton Howard (music)

Kristen Stewart as Snow White

Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman

Charlize Theron as Ravenna

Sam Claflin as William

Sam Spruell as Finn

Noah Huntley as King Magnus

Ian McShane as Beith

Bob Hoskins as Muir

Ray Winstone as Gort

Nick Frost as Nion

Eddie Marsan as Duir

Toby Jones as Coll

Johnny Harris as Quert

Brian Gleeson as Gus

©Universal Pictures.  All Rights Reserved.

The evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) in Snow White and the Huntsman.

Our reviews below:

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Snow White and the Huntsman Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

The best part of Snow White and the Huntsman is not the title Princess (Kristen Stewart), but the evil queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron).  Kristen Stewart is predictably bland and Charlize Theron is so good at playing evil, that this is one of those rare times when the villain becomes even more interesting than the hero.  Although the casting of the title character leaves something to be desired, this is still a visually impressive take on a classic fairy tale that is better than the candy coloured kids film that was Mirror Mirror earlier this year.

When Queen Ravenna married into royalty, she locked up her young stepdaughter in a tower and took over the kingdom.  After a daring escape, Snow White ends up trapped in the Dark Forest, much to the dismay of the evil Queen who needs to feed on youth to keep herself young.  But the Huntsman (Chris Hemosworth) that is hired to track down Snow White becomes her protector in a battle to take back the Kingdom and return the rightful heir to the throne.  With an army of strong dwarves on their side, it’s a battle of good versus evil filled with big scale action sequences.

Charlize Theron gives a chilling performance as she allows the creepiness of her character to shine through both above and below the surface.  The visual effects are also impressive, with the enchanted forest looking like something Disney might have dreamed up for the animated 1937 classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, if the studio had gone dark and psychedelic.  But the problem with Snow White and the Huntsman is the actress who plays the title character.  Kristen Stewart delivers her lines in a way that sounds anticlimactic and spends much of the movie with a pained expression on her face.  It’s also more than a little hard to believe that the pale Twilight actress could actually be considered fairer in all thy land than the gorgeous Charlize Theron.

Promising first time director Rupert Sanders brings enough entertainment value to his debut debut feature to outweigh the parts of the film that unfortunately feel like somewhat of a missed opportunity.  Kristen Stewart is bland as usual and the movie is overlong by about twenty minutes, but the visuals of Snow White and the Huntsman are darkly beautiful and Charlize Theron is excellent at playing evil.

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Snow White and the Huntsman Review by Erin V.  

**1/2 (out of 4)

Snow White & The Huntsman is a darker updated take on the tale of Snow White.  When the evil Ravenna (Charlize Theron) orphans the young princess Snow White (Raffey Cassidy) after becoming her stepmother, she locks the girl in a tower for ten years, while taking over the kingdom with her dark forces and quest for youth.  It is when the now young adult Snow White (Kristen Stewart) finally escapes her captor, and hides in the dark forest, that the film’s main plot really begins.  Queen Ravenna sends out a local huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to track her down and bring her back.  But with the Huntsman joining forces with Snow White instead, it seems that the kingdom finally has the champion it needs to take down the evil queen once and for all.

The visual effects are at times quite stunning here, which makes the film at least worth seeing if you’re interested.  In fact, overall, it is not a bad film.  The problems lie in the slightly overlong running length, and the fact that Kristen Stewart doesn’t have the acting poweress to command the screen for that long – and certainly not in this role.  The rest of the cast are all fine in their roles, although Charlize Theron as the evil queen steals the show – her dark and creepy performance is spot on.

While Snow White & The Huntsman is definitely not for kids, teen and adult fans of medieval fantasy-type films will most likely enjoy this one.

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Snow White and the Huntsman Review by Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

The second live action Snow White adaptation this year, Snow White and the Huntsman is visually stunning.  When Snow White (Kristen Stewart) was little, everything in nature was healthy and beautiful.  But when the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) sends out an army of mirror soldiers to take siege of the kingdom, Snow White becomes an orphan and the natural world starts to die.  In a quest to remain fairest of them all, Revenna sends out a Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to destroy Snow White.

When he can’t brings himself to murder her, he hides the kind princess in an enchanted fairy forest instead.  This one pristine patch of wilderness left is home to eight, not seven, dwarves who take care of the nature loving Snow White.  Meanwhile, the Huntsman teaches her how to destroy Ravenna and restore the kingdom.

This is an uneven film.  Kristin Stewart’s acting leaves a lot to be desired.  However, Charlize Theron is perfect as a forty point Hare score psychopath.  Her portrayal of the nature hating, bird eating witch is amazingly chilling.  The visual effects in this film are beautiful.  From Ravenna’s use of mirrors to the creatures of the fairy forest, Snow White and the Huntsman is worth seeing for the visuals.  I especially loved the fairy forest, with various elfin sprites that ride rabbits and badgers, a reindeer with tree antlers who transforms into butterflies and a wide assortment of both real and fantasy flora and fauna.  The ecological and animal conscious views of the film were echoed in the royal treatment of the horses on set.

While not perfect, Snow White and the Huntsman is a beautiful environmental fairy tale that is worth seeing for the visuals.

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Snow White and the Huntsman Review by Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

Mirror mirror on the wall, in this film, who gives the best performance of them all?  In director Rupert Sanders retelling of the classic fairy tale, Snow White and the Huntsman, that would be Charlize Theron as the darkly beautiful evil Queen Ravenna.  Every scene she’s in is compelling and visually stunning to watch.  The visual effects when she ages, her transformations and the magical enchanted forest are the strengths of this movie.

Oddly, it’s the two lead characters, Snow White (Kristen Stewart) and the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) that are the least interesting elements of the story.  Chris Hemsworth just seems to be channelling his Thor character from The Avengers, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as he plays that type of role convincingly.  It’s Kristen Stewart’s interpretation of the pure of heart and fair of face Snow White that fails to leave a lasting impression.  Scenes between the two leads just aren’t as interesting as they could have been.

Fortunately, the movie has enough interesting visual scenes that make it worth seeing.  The scenes that come to mind are the glass shards in battle, Queen Ravenna exploding into ravens, the magic mirror and the magical creatures including a white stag that transforms into butterflies.  Mostly the film is worth seeing for Charlize Theron as the evil Queen.  In terms of a fantasy adventure, Snow White and the Huntsman has a well told story, even if it feels a little long at just over two hours.

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Snow White and the Huntsman Review by Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Snow White and the Huntsman is a dark adaptation of the fairy story. The prologue introduces the evil queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) who preserves her youthful beauty (affirmed by an awesome magic mirror) by drawing the life force from her victims. Having married and immediately murdered the widowed king, she had his daughter Snow White locked up in the palace tower as a child (Raffey Cassidy). About to steal her heart (literally) when she came of age (Kristen Stewart), Ravenna sends her toady brother Finn (Sam Spruell) to fetch Snow White but she escapes to the Dark Forest beyond Ravenna’s magic powers.

Ravenna commandeers a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to find Snow White but he ends up helping her instead. After making their way through the psychedelically scary forest and a Super 8 encounter with a guard troll, they meet the 8 dwarfs, which once one dies will become 7 (played with CGI shrinking by distinguished British Isles talent: Ian McShane, Toby Jones, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Nick Frost, Johnny Harris, Brian Gleeson). After leading S.W. and the H. through the magical Fairy Lands, the dwarfs pledge to support Snow White in her quest to defeat Ravenna and regain the throne, along with a childhood friend William (Sam Claflin) and the commoners. After a temporary setback involving a poisoned apple and a reviving kiss, the siege on the castle is ultimately successful.

Snow White and the Huntsman is worth seeing for its brilliant special effects, both in the fantastic and battle scenes, and the chilling performance of Charlize Theron as Ravenna. The rest of the cast is fine, although, despite courageous stunt work, Kristen Stewart’s Snow White, as in previous roles (particularly Bella), is unfortunately more often kvetching* than fetching. The story is good, though the script is uneven. The banter of the dwarfs is witty if sometimes difficult to follow, while Snow White’s lines tend to be banal, not helped by flat delivery. Finally, at 127 minutes the film is just too long.

*Yiddish words are often borrowed in a figurative sense, kvetching referring to someone prone to ranting or complaining. Here I revert to its original literal usage depicting the throes of constipated evacuation.

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Consensus: Although Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of the title Princess is predictably bland in Snow White and the Huntsman, Charlize Theron gives a chilling performance as the evil Queen and the impressive visuals of the film make it worth seeing.  **1/2 (Out of 4)

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