The trailers were abuzz the last several months with the event that now is Snow White and the Huntsman. Some of the hoopla was well founded but more than some failed to deliver on such a powerful story as that of Snow White. The film was directed by Rupert Sanders. He has nothing prior on file with IMDB, in other words he’s a “noob” with this one. An interesting factoid is that IMDB lists his future project as a sequel to this movie. I suppose they’ll need a new witch to fuel the dollars further? But I digress. It was written by Evan Daugherty, also a relative noob to the business, and John Lee Hancock who is known for direction the amazing film the Blind Side. There are two other credits for writing listed on IMDB but the link is misdirected. Anyone who has collaborated on any creative knows that the more people involved, the more delicate and difficult the challenges become. I have a feeling some of the holes in this screenplay are owing to the abundance of creative writers.
There are plenty of movie stars in Snow White and the Huntsman. Kristen Stewart, known for Twilight, plays Snow White. She is an interesting choice with pros and cons resulting throughout. Chris Hemsworth, known for Thor, plays the Huntsman: an oddly familiar figure as if from Gladiator and Spartacus the HBO series. Charlize Theron, known for so many things like Hancock, Devil’s Advocate, and Monster, plays Ravenna. There is a long list of other A-name actors in this film as well. One example is Bob Hoskins who plays one of the key dwarves. Sometimes this many stars can equal a great movie but other times, and I would argue in this case, they are lured by the promise of a name like Snow White in the title. A big budget with big actors does not an amazing movie make. It takes a lot more than that and it’s too bad these writers and the director didn’t know that. The movie is fun, okay I will say that but it is not believable and worse than that, confusing in many places. Snow White and the Huntsman should have flowed better in my opinion.
Did you know the horses scenes were difficult for Kristen Stewart because she suffered an injury as a child while riding one? You wouldn’t know it from the film footage. She rides deftly as she does everything else. From the dwarves to the trolls, everyone in the forest is buying it. For me? I wanted more of a reason to believe she was going to save the kingdom. What’s more, I wanted to believe the all-to-famous kiss was heartfelt. But I’ll stop on that subject there. Here a short version of the film: Ravenna is running out of life after lifetimes of sucking it from youthful people. Her mirror, which is a gold shape shifting thing instead of a mirror like in Shrek, tells her she must kill Snow White or face a final demise. She dispatches the huntsman to bring her back to the castle but he instead decides to join with Snow White to win back the kingdom. Many things happen in the forest. There are new creatures the likes of which we have never seen, not even in Lord of the Rings, although there is much borrowing of tone and theme throughout. I suppose any movie that makes as much money as LOTR did will be copied right? Eventually, the entire forest and oppressed people of the kingdom fight for Snow White and the end is played out (which I never like to share in these reviews). It is a contrived movie from start to finish but the effects are good and when Kristen Stewart isn’t struggling with her accent, it’s a fairly decent adventure/fantasy film.
In the final analysis, this is a swashbuckling film that sways quite aways away from the original Grimm fairy tale. Audiences will like the special effects and the actors though, in spite of the writing that may a little too far afield of the original story for some viewers. Oh, and one last thing: the PG-13 rating is well earned. There is a lot of blood and senseless violence here. I’d say kids below 10 would have a hard time with this.