Snow White and the Huntsman

         
 

31 May 2012| 1 Comment     by Sean Chavel

 

It’s at least a surprise that it’s not a rotten apple. Snow White and the Huntsman is a revisionist spectacle of pure girl gone medieval warrior to fight her sorcerer stepmother. Kristen Stewart as the girl “pure as snow” (yeah, right!) does not let her fans down with this one, but I’m not a fan and I know plenty others who aren’t either. Charlize Theron is great as the anguished but snarling evil queen who hates every man east to west, all except her albino brother. Somewhere on the map is the Dark Forest which is possessed by supernatural forces that is a void of obscure deadliness. There are dazzling images to behold in this film, particularly ravishing is the fairyland just past the seven dwarves’ forest. You look at sequences like that one and think, this movie is a nice try. But it just feels like the heroes march from one village to the next, one forest to the next, until they finally decide to storm the castle.

I found myself at a level of surprisingly liking the film until it felt like the story was wandering. It’s a narrative stuck on backtrack. At least until the characters figure out what they are going to do, to stop retreating and go forward to fight, you have no pleasure left but to surrender to the visuals.

When it goes into nighttime mode with all that pitch blackness in nature, then there’s nothing to look at. You listen to overwritten dialogue. The screenwriters did not trust the audience in filling in the gaps on what its’ themes were about, so they’ve spelled it out for you. The proletariat living under the Queen’s autocrat rule are oppressed, we get it.

Yes, first-time director Rupert Sanders (bio includes short films and commercials) has an original vision. I feel sorry for him, because he has crafted dozens and dozens of visual gems, but every shot feels like the chief studio head put a gun to his head and forced him to snip seconds off to keep the movie at reasonable length (his most virtuoso images last about 2.5 seconds). But also it feels like Sanders is forced to throw in every last clip of “sensational” action footage back into the film until it is rendered unintelligible.

The special effects do work in that liquid-metal way echoing “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) when the Queen, in shattered molecules, regenerates back into living form. There’s also a beastly troll made of rock which is a great effect, but the beast goes from adversary to unquestionable sympathizer to Snow White, then just disappears from the movie.

Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) plays the ruffled huntsman, and there’s a little touch of Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart” to his performance. Hemsworth seems to get a camaraderie going with anybody who stars opposite. But I would have preferred Snow White played by somebody with a little more defiant gusto, an actress with complex layers of femininity and fierceness. My choice would have been Jennifer Lawrence.

127 Minutes. Rated PG-13.

ACTION & ADVENTURE / MYTHOLOGY / BLOCKBUSTER WEEKEND CROWDS

Film Cousins: “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937); “Robin and Marian” (1976); “Alice in Wonderland” (2010); “Mirror Mirror” (2012).


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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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  1.  
    soulreaver99

    soulreaver99 says,

     

    It’s like watching Twilight with a few ideas stolen from the Avengers and Lord of the Rings which sounds like a good idea but ended up being one big mess. I give it a 2/5. Wait for someone to pirate the movie

     

    on June 2, 2012

     

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