“Snow White and The Huntsman” is Not the Fairest of Them All.
Reviewed by Jason Gregg
I guess I don’t get it. The fantasy, the unbelievable, the idea of making an impossible idea seem very possible. And, no, I am not talking about fairy tales, I am talking about Kristen Stewart’s acting. What force of nature was set in motion to get a legion of “Twihards” to follow her through two hours of any movie? It baffles the mind.
“Snow White and the Huntsman” (directed by first-time director Rupert Sanders) is Universal Pictures’ attempt to cash in on Stewart’s popularity. I am sure it made sense in the initial stages – take a standard tale that has been tested over the years in film, books and TV and add in current stars such as Stewart (“Twilight”), Charlize Theron (“Monster”) and Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”), include lots of great effects and it should net a big pile of cash. They didn’t count on one thing though – Stewart is not a heroine. She is the damsel in distress that constantly needs to be saved.
We begin the story of Snow White with her family. She has a great family life; she is the daughter of a popular king and queen. All is well until her mother dies. Her father goes off to battle where he comes upon the witch Ravenna (played by Theron). He falls in love with her not knowing she is a witch. They marry the next day (yes, the next day), he dies and Ravenna takes over the kingdom. Her main drive for the rest of the story is to stay young. Why? Because if she stays young and beautiful she believes that no one can take away her kingdom. Who is she is getting advice from? But of course, the Mirror on the Wall (a man) tells her how beautiful she is and warns of anyone who is more beautiful than she. I am sure there is a moral for young girls hidden in here somewhere.
Ravenna locks Snow White in a tower for roughly eight years while the kingdom goes to hell. The day comes where the Mirror tells Ravenna that she needs to eat Snow White’s heart in order to stay young forever. Snow White makes a daring escape, and after eight years of living in solitary confinement, she knows how to swim in the ocean and ride a horse bare back while a small army chases her.
The Huntsman (played by Hemsworth) is hired by Ravenna to hunt down Snow White. He is promised that his wife will be raised from the dead if he follows the witch’s orders. The Huntsman soon catches on to the trick (I guess you can’t raise dead people) and is hired by Snow White to protect her. They have a rough start but soon become allies in the dark forest; he even takes 30 seconds to teach her how to use a knife (it comes in handy later).
While being chased, they befriend eight dwarves (yes, eight, but that number does drop) who are all in need of a 12-step program (there is a joke about being a little drunk hidden in here somewhere). They fall in love with Snow White and assist her in her journey. Eventually, she is tricked into eating the poison apple and goes into the deep sleep and is awoken by her prince. After awaking from her 15-minute nap, she gives a motivational speech to a village of out-of-work Renaissance Fair actors, dons a suit of full armor and leads an entire army to raid the queen’s castle and take back her kingdom. Keep in mind that she just learned how to use a knife 48 hours earlier. The End.
Should you see this movie? If you are a “Twihard,” it doesn’t matter what I just typed, you are going to see it anyway. For the rest of us, this story had potential but was lost. The cinematography and the images of the various landscapes were incredible to watch (all without 3D). Sadly, it doesn’t not make up for Stewart’s constant angry/ confused facial expression. She took a beautiful, innocent image of Snow White and darkened it just so she can stay in her comfort zone. The writers had several opportunities to lighten the mood but passed them up to over-dramatize the story from start to end.