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Plagued by Platitudes, ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ Misses the Mark

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No matter how odd the decision might seem, the world has been given another Snow White/Huntsman movie four years later in the form of The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Starring Hollywood princesses Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron, it was a dark reimagining of the classic story that played like the love child of the Brothers Grimm and “The Hobbit” with two compelling characters, warrior Snow White and the villainous Ravenna.

Help also arrives from an unexpected source – well, not really unexpected, but I’ll play along with the surprise. Even the discussion over their enjoyment of water is better than most of the dialogue given to Hemsworth, Theron (who is absent for most of the film), Blunt, and Chastain. From her kingdom in the forbidding and frozen north, Freya rules using children she captures and transforms into soldiers.

If you liked Snow White and The Huntsman then you may want to see this movie. Now we should worry that studios will use this movie’s probable failure to discourage future female-centric blockbusters.

WINTER’S WAR “I’m dressed as a mean gold bird that is also an evil queen”. Reared as children to fight in Freya’s army, they somehow escape being tainted by her misanthropy, which is brought on by her child’s murder by its father.

Even though it had its flaws, some people loved Snow White and The Huntsman because of Hemsworth. A few years later, after Snow White has defeated Ravenna, the evil mirror has been stolen and it’s up to the Huntsman to find the mirror before Freya gets her hands on it and controls the entire world. It revolves around Ravenna and her sister Freya (Emily Blunt). I didn’t feel anything for the whacko pairing of Hemsworth and Chastain, or for Rob Brydon and Nick Frost’s mugging as the dwarves, or Blunt’s icy depression, but found myself quite enamoured of miniature disappearing elves, sparkling columns of ice, the bear-tiger that Freya rides and the mirror taking a molten, familiar shape. “And I said, ‘I would love to do one of these action adventure films, but I don’t wanna be the wife (saying), ‘Alright honey, have a good time, I believe in you!’ I wanna kick some butt!’ And he said, ‘Don’t worry, you do'”.

Just like its predecessor Snow White and the Huntsman, the follow-up that is both prequel and sequel The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a visually stunning film. In a turn that not-so-subtly rips off “Frozen“, Freya realizes her full powers to command ice and snow when she is brutally spurned by her lover. This time around the narrative sheds a bit of light on his backstory and the love that he lost, Sara (Jessica Chastain). Chastain is miscast as a woman of arms, and Hemsworth mumbles his lines in his attempt to affect a broad English accent. Here lies the biggest problem with The Huntsman: Winter’s War: it never figures out whose story it is telling.

Thomas Cummings

The author Thomas Cummings

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