Josh Wilding Reviews: SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

Snow White and the Huntsman is a dark re-imagining of the fairy tale that most of you will more than likely only know from the classic Disney animated feature. So, does the team-up between Twilight's Bella and The Avengers' Thor deliver the goods? Find out here.

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By Josh Wilding - 5/30/2012
In the epic action-adventure Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart (Twilight) plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Oscar® winner Charlize Theron) who is out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth, Thor) who was dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White’s beauty and power.



Snow White and the Huntsman brings a fair bit of baggage with it. Kristen Stewart is best known for starring in the polarizing Twilight franchise while Chris Hemsworth is instantly recognisable to just about everyone after playing a superhero in the biggest movie of 2012. It is inevitable then that comparisons will be made between Snow White and Bella and Thor and The Huntsman. Well, credit where credit is due as both actors put their own stamp on both of the characters, easily separating them from those mentioned above (even if in Hemsworth's case that involves an occasionally dodgy Scottish accent). You see, it is these impressive performances which save the dark re-imagining of the classic fairy tale from being completely forgettable, despite some very clever twists on some of the classic elements you instantly associate with the tale. In Rupert Sanders' directorial debut, he brings an impressive style to the film, helping to elevate the far from perfect screenplay into a film it's hard to not recommend checking out.

Snow White and the Huntsman is never boring, although it's definitely a bit too long, with a few too many superfluous scenes. The premise is straightforward enough, as Snow White goes on the run from the evil Queen Ravenna (who needs to consume Snow White's heart in order to retain her youth and become immortal) and along the way bumps into the Huntsman, who very quickly goes from hunting to protecting her after realising the Queen is playing him for a fool. Things breeze along rather nicely up until this point, although the middle of the film drags. Unfortunately, the introduction of the seven eight dwarves adds little humour to proceedings - something Snow White and the Huntsman could have so desperately done with - although it builds to a satisfying and action packed final battle. The screenplay is by no means terrible, but we're ultimately left with an incredibly disappointing conclusion between the two lead characters with only a look (you'll understand when you see it) which annoyingly has, "To be continued in the sequel..." written all over it.

As is mentioned above, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth are fantastic. The latter adds a lot of depth to The Huntsman, and while the similarities to the God of Thunder (one uses an axe; the other a hammer) are inevitable, this is a very different character and everything about him shows that he truly is leading man material. Stewart is stunning as Snow White and thoroughly convincing as both the pretty girl AND warrior. There's a lot more to the actress than Twilight, and it would be a great shame for anyone to dismiss her talents simply due to her being connected to a less than stellar, but extremely successful, franchise. However, it's Charlize Theron who steals the show as Ravenna, the complex and evil Queen who is so much more than your typical one dimensional villain. Sam Spruell is almost equally as impressive as her brother, while Sam Claflin is good (not great) as William. The likes of Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan and Toby Jones are wasted as the dwarves who ultimately add very little to the film. Do we need a sequel or spin-off? Perhaps not, but these are characters that it's difficult to not want to revisit.

Snow White meets The Lord of the Rings is an apt description for the film, so it's a shame that James Newton Howard's score is so completely and utterly underwhelming, delivering in some places, but absent in far too many scenes and nowhere near as epic as it should be in most others. In terms of special effects, Snow White and the Huntsman is a visually stunning film, although it occasionally falters with a few not entirely convincing CGI animals. Other creatures (one of the most exciting sequences sees our leading duo facing off against a troll) are thankfully far more fantastical. Theron is made to look far older than she really is on several occasions (in an almost identical plot device as Michelle Pfieffer's Lamia in Matthew Vaughn's Stardust) but this too is mostly faultless. However, scenes such as the one in which Ravenna materialises back into human form from a murder of crows really impresses. In fact, it's more than a little surprising that the film isn't in 3D as so many moments would have leant themselves perfectly to the format.

Snow White and the Huntsman is a solid take on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, full of great performances and stunning visuals, ultimately let down by a mediocre screenplay.



STARRING:

Kristen Stewart as Snow White
Chris Hemsworth as Eric, the Huntsman
Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna
Sam Claflin as Prince William
Lily Cole as Greta

RELEASE DATE: June 1st, 2012.


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35 Comments
santoanderson - 5/30/2012, 12:02 PM
So you're saying.... go see the Avengers again, instead.
FightAs0ne - 5/30/2012, 12:08 PM
Three and a half stars is definitely worth a watch seeing it this friday....
Ryguy88 - 5/30/2012, 12:09 PM
I might go see this in a few weeks on a Tuesday when its half price. Good review Josh.
Hellsing - 5/30/2012, 12:09 PM
The ending was just setting up the sequel but man Hemsworth owned this movie IMO even yhough his accent wavered here and there. Stewart was surprisingly good. Dwarfes were just class, felt dissapointed by the battles. Good visuals 3.5 or 4 stars is fair. More huntsman please and I have faith in Hemsworth to pull of the role of james hunt in Rush.
Ryguy88 - 5/30/2012, 12:10 PM
SirWins, are you trying to turn this Snow White article into a Nolanite/Marvelite fight?
empire638 - 5/30/2012, 12:11 PM
Gotta give it up to Josh! I usually go by rating movies VIA Rotten Tomatoes and now by him. Majority of his review'sa seem very un-baised and truthful. Keep up the good work broske. I'll probably see this but not at any urgency..
JakeDixon - 5/30/2012, 12:13 PM
@santoanderson Or Prometheus...
AlexDeLarge87 - 5/30/2012, 12:18 PM
Thank you.

Now i have courage to go see it.
ralfinader - 5/30/2012, 12:18 PM
Good review, I will check it out on BluRay though. Being a smoker, I only get my fat ass in a theater for 3 or 4 movies a year. So I already used up two of those times on Avengers and have to see TDKR (I really may not, long ass movie without cigarette breaks suck, even if they are great movies), and the Hobbit.

@SirWinsalot- It's okay, he ain't alone. Maybe in 2022 when we are gearing up for Avengers 5, 6, or whatever, more people will share your opinion.
TheMyth - 5/30/2012, 12:19 PM
I avoid the Twilight movies since I was duped into watching the first one many years ago not knowing about the book and such. So my references for Kristen are 'In the Land of Women' and 'The Runaways' which she was good in both. I will be taking my daughter to see this, she loves the whole princess thing of course but also strangely enjoys dark fantasy stuff. I really like the idea of taking her to see a soft and pretty princess(as she calls them) who can also kick ass and save the day. She's been on this trip lately that only boys can fight dragons and save princesses etc. so maybe this can break that perception. Nice review Josh, good to see it's a bit positive.
DanteSparda - 5/30/2012, 12:19 PM
Wow, I honestly thought this movie was going to be pure crap, but now I may see it on theaters.

Good job Thor! And Kristen, stop using that sick face already, you have that face almost always in all your movies!


TheMyth - 5/30/2012, 12:21 PM
SirWinsalot, so long as you're suckin dick for quarters in Wal-Mart parking lot, we're gonna go on about the awesomeness of Avengers... that means forever.
GreyChaos13Zero - 5/30/2012, 12:21 PM
cool, I'll check it out?)
Fogs - 5/30/2012, 12:21 PM
no way I'm seeing it. I'd rather have me some Prometheus instead.
TheMyth - 5/30/2012, 12:23 PM
I base a lot of what I see on reviews from Josh and Ror. Once Ror puts out a review for this to compare to Josh, I'll be ready to go see for myself. I like that they aren't to hard on movies, they know how to go and enjoy themselves and review objectively.
Ranger14 - 5/30/2012, 12:31 PM
I don't know if I can take someone seriously who refers to Stewart as "Stunning". :-P
Easy..joking...kind of. :-P
RaleighAntrobus - 5/30/2012, 12:36 PM
@ Gusto:

Again... you're in the minority.

I'll see this on Netflix. Or download. Whichever comes first.
SHHH - 5/30/2012, 12:40 PM
Good Review I Will Watch Now...
Greengo - 5/30/2012, 12:59 PM
your mom's a fairy tale

BOOM
HelaGood - 5/30/2012, 1:00 PM
great review @Josh!!
HelaGood - 5/30/2012, 1:01 PM
like most of you, i cant wrap my brain around the fact that Stewart is supposed to be FAIREST OF THEM ALL... even fairer than Theron. now THAT IS a fairy tale!
HelaGood - 5/30/2012, 1:02 PM
and i too heard "go see The Avengers again" in this review... as you wish @Josh...
Greengo - 5/30/2012, 1:11 PM
lol Hela too true.

Maybe by "fair" they mean pale.
SUPERSHADOWBAT - 5/30/2012, 1:26 PM
Excellent review Josh, i'll check it out.
@Gusto, I agree with that.
billnye69 - 5/30/2012, 1:27 PM
It's not a re-imagining. It's closer to the original story. The Grimms Brothers wrote a lot of the fairy tails and they were very graphic and were meant to scare children, nothing like what Disney showed. Disney re-imagined more then this movie does.

Like in the original Cinderella, her step sister hack off their heels trying to fit into the shoe. lol
OdinsBeard - 5/30/2012, 1:36 PM
TheMyth@ "I like that they aren't to hard on movies, they know how to go and enjoy themselves and review objectively."

me too! if you enjoyed the movie overall there's no point in nitpicking.
Jordanstine - 5/30/2012, 1:58 PM
It's currently ROTTEN at rottentomatoes.com

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/snow_white_and_the_huntsman/
GiantNerd - 5/30/2012, 2:34 PM
My girlfriend will force me to see it regardless because Kristen Stewart is in it.
maito - 5/30/2012, 2:54 PM
This is the first review I've read that states that Kristen Stewart acts.

My fear become true, SWATH might be as bad as Alice in Wonderland.
brewtownpsych - 5/30/2012, 4:07 PM
good, informative review as usual, but your ranking is off IMO. don't promote grade inflation! when you have a 5 star scale every half-star is precious. look at it this way:

0 - Bomb or Turkey
1/2 - Horrible
1 - Really Bad
1 1/2 - Bad
2 Below Average
2 1/2 - Average
3 - Above Average
3 1/2 - Good
4 Great
4 1/2 - Amazing
5 - Classic

Basically you are saying this movie is Good. maybe /'above average" is more accurate? Because to me "good" is a full on recommendation.
marvel72 - 5/30/2012, 4:58 PM
@ brewtownpsych

i rate movies like this

0-piss poor
1-bad
2-average
3-good
4-very good
5-excellent

not one cbm is worthy of the magical 5/5 just yet,films like the godfather,taxi driver,goodfellas,pulp fiction,scarface & so on get that score.
wildbillyb - 5/31/2012, 4:23 AM
maybe this reimagining means that kristin stewart is more fair than a queen who is just evil all the time and is very biased in her judgments...?
Greengo - 5/31/2012, 5:55 AM
@Owlman: come on man you can do better than that lol

Then again so can I : )
ElApe - 5/31/2012, 6:20 AM
Chris's dodgy impersonation of Mel Gibson in Braveheart is a bit rubbish. And Kristen's shouty speech is also a bit Braveheart. Enjoyable enough film though.
ISeeStupidPeople - 5/31/2012, 3:53 PM
Meh. Kristen Stewart is a pretty solid 5 or 7 (on a good day). I don't find her ugly, but holy shit would I never say she could ever be as hot as Charlize Theron.

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