The first batch of reviews for this week's action/fantasy film, which stars Kristen Stewart and The Avengers' Chris Hemsworth, have found their way online. Are they positive or negative? Find out after the jump.

HeyUGuys, Digital Spy, Den Of Geek, Empire and WhatCulture! have posted their reviews for the anticipated fantasy epic Snow White And The Huntsman, which hits theaters this Friday. All five websites give the film a positive verdict, with HUG being the most positive with its 4/5 rating. Both WC and HUG compare the dark/gritty tone to Christopher Nolan's movies. Below are segments from all fiver reviews:

The film’s biggest issue is the lack of a sense of fun. It’s so po-faced that at times I half expected Christopher Nolan’s name to turn up somewhere in the end credits. The few comic moments are great, and a pleasant relief, but there simply aren’t enough of them, and the film suffers from it. In particular, there are times where it’s very hard to stay engaged with the movie, particularly when Snow White and her pet Huntsman are simply blundering around the countryside aimlessly. That said, the film moves along at such a fast pace that this is only relevant for a fairly short time, and soon enough there’s something new and exciting to distract us.

Accents and a serious attitude aside, Snow White and the Huntsman is actually a very good film. Describing it as an impressive debut for Rupert Sanders is unfair. This would be an impressive film if it had been directed by Guilermo Del Torro or Peter Jackson. For a debut it’s truly astonishing. Stewart is sufficiently divisive anyway, that her presence will likely upset some viewers, but if you can get over the Twilight baggage, she’s actually rather good, and certainly holds her own against Theron. In all, it’s well worth a watch.


-HeyUGuys [Click To Read Full Review]

The dwarves who help Snow White along the way (including likeably gruff turns by Ray Winstone, Ian McShane and Toby Jones) help to raise spirits, but humor is used sparingly. When it comes to spectacle, though, British director Rupert Sanders delivers in spades.

This, his first feature film (graduating from commercials) is chockfull of gorgeous, ethereal imagery and spellbinding effects - including the eerie sight of Theron withering with age and reverting to youth in a matter of seconds. Every shot is beautifully composed and Sanders is able to create an atmosphere that draws you into a scene. It's just that, once inside, there are no great reveals.

It may have been asking too much of the director to extrapolate a mythology of true depth and meaning from a simple children's fairytale. Only Theron comes close with her tragic portrayal of the Queen. Despite the gloomy pall that hangs so seductively over everything, this is pure light entertainment, which only goes to show that you shouldn't judge by appearances.


-Digital Spy [Click To Read Full Review]

Snow White and the Huntsman hits the darker notes of the Brothers Grimm tale nicely but plays merry havoc with the romance plot, aiming for surprise but ending up by telling only half a story. The pleasingly sturdy Chris Hemsworth has a meatier backstory than Sam Claflin’s wispy Prince character, but both are difficult to pin down, and neither excites much empathy.

The overwhelming result is an exquisite-looking, but somehow empty fantasy adventure. Huntsman isn’t quite mad enough to be The Neverending Story, and it’s far too earnest to be Labyrinth, but sits somewhere on a par with the Narnia adaptations. While we’re talking comparisons, Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the most obvious reference, from Huntsman’s battle scenes to its sweeping mountainside helicopter shots. Unlike that trilogy, though, Sanders is working from source material that could be told in full during one bedtime story; thin soup compared to the rich stew Jackson had to work with.

In short, Sanders’ film takes on too much. It aims to people the inevitably paper-thin pages of a fairy tale with robust, psychologically believable characters, as well as ticking off romance, epic action, stunning visuals, and comic relief. It’s simply too tall an order and results in an unbalanced, slightly dissatisfying film, if one with visuals to die for. Sanders has aimed high, something never to be discouraged, but ended up only somewhere in the middle. A visual tour de force, and an admirable debut from a talented director, but not an instant classic.


- Den Of Geek [Click To Read Full Review]

A strong visual style tussles with flaccid storytelling in this ambitious retelling of Grimm. It won’t exactly have Walt Disney spinning in his secret ice chamber, but you may wish they spent more time worrying about what exactly the film is than who it’s for.


- Empire [Click To Read Full Review]

Akin to the story’s own interplay between light and dark, Sanders gets the balance between fiery and fluffy just right. Downcast and broody though it often is, the dwarves along with Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman keep things from becoming overly self-serious, as has plagued most of the Twilight films, for instance. With accents being something of a wild card affair throughout, Hemsworth’s Scottish riff is an odd but ably-handled choice, though one which will likely be endlessly scrutinised regardless. Nevertheless, he convinces as both a rugged, tragic tough man and alongside the dwarves, palpable comic relief, a much sought-after diversity of talent.

You’d be fair to expect that a story like this can be predicted by-the-numbers, but several subversive story retrofits keep us guessing. Spelled out in less expository terms than a fairytale intended for easy digestion by children, the story takes on a new form, which adults as well as tweens will appreciate. It doesn’t skimp on the darkness, and in fact, is probably closer to the works of Christopher Nolan than those of Stephenie Meyer. Next to Tarsem’s recent take on the material – the shambolic Mirror Mirror – it looks even better.

More The Dark Knight than Twilight, this is one fairytale update that packs an impressive punch and a deft, human touch.

RATING: 3.5/5

- WhatCulture! [Click To Read Full Review]

Will you be seeing Snow White And The Huntsman this weekend?

Release Date: 6/1/12
Cast: Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin , Lily Cole
Director: Rupert Sanders
Screenwriters: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini
Producer: Joe Roth
Studios/Distributors: Universal Pictures, Roth Films

Posted By:
Paul Romano
Member Since 1/6/2011
Filed Under "Fantasy" 5/28/2012
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