Mixed feelings about 'Snow White and the Huntsman'REVIEW: One of the main problems with this movie is that it feels like it’s trying to do too much.
By: Nathan R. Carlsen, Movie Reviews by Nate
Short review: Pretty good; not as bad as everyone said it was. But definitely not perfect.
Best parts: Charlize Theron, the dwarves and the special effects.
Worst parts: Kristen Stewart’s character and the fact that this movie had very little to do with the title.
Here’s the breakdown of all the amazing actors that are in this movie — and Kristen Stewart.
Cast: Kristen Stewart (Snow White), Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman), Charlize Theron (Ravenna), Sam Claflin (William), Sam Spruell (Finn), Ian McShane (Beith), Bob Hoskins (Muir), Ray Winstone (Gort), Nick Frost (Nion), Eddie Marsan (Duir), Toby Jones (Coll), Johnny Harris (Quert), Brian Gleeson (Gus), Vincent Regan (Duke Hammond), Noah Huntley (King Magnus)
Idea: Modernize a traditionally Disney fairytale and make it darker and edgy.
Problem: Someone already did that.
Solution: Put Charlize Theron in it; genius.
This isn’t the first Snow White movie that has retold the story a bit darker and edgier.
In 1997, there was one called “Snow White: A Tale of Terror,” which starred Sigourney Weaver and Sam Neill. Apparently it was made for TV, but its VHS box had an R rating. It was creepy to say the least and kind of fun, worth a watch if you can find it somewhere.
Now we have a bunch of ideas around trying to update the old fairytales into modern retellings. Why? Because creepy and movies about the macabre are getting popular now (“Saw,” “Hostel,” “Twilight,” any Tim Burton movie and most David Fincher movies). People are remembering that the original Grimm fairytales actually were pretty creepy (in “Little Red Riding Hood,” the woodsman has to cut open the wolf to get granny out). These really are all horror movies written for little kids as a lesson to be careful of their surroundings, or just to freak kids out, because, you know, that’s fun.
(SPOILER ALERT: Although I won’t give away anything super-important, I will talk about a few things you probably didn’t see in the previews, so consider yourself warned.)
I have mixed feelings on “Snow White and the Huntsman.” It was a fun watch; some funny and intense moments. The wicked witch/queen was awesome (Charlize Theron was amazing as a crazy lady who sucks the life out of people). The “Sanctuary” is reminiscent of the sacred and magical forest in “Princess Mononoke” with a little “Legend” (Ridley Scott’s 1985 film starring Tom Cruise) thrown in there for good measure. It’s where all of the magical things live, apparently, and was one of the more beautiful, funny and imaginative places cinema has given us.
There was a lot of creativity with the magical and fantasy elements. The creative people behind them definitely are playing their A-game. I wouldn’t be surprised if the academy puts them up for an Oscar for best visual effects.
And the dwarves are awesome! Just look at the cast list. These guys seem to be in their own awesome movie. Seriously; they should do a prequel of these guys just doing their thing and cracking wise. I’m not kidding. I won’t give it away, but the best lines and funniest moments are with these guys. I’ll probably see it again on DVD just for them. And the special effects that make these recognizable actors into little people were incredibly well done.
One of the main problems with this movie is that it feels like it’s trying to do too much.
In one scene, Snow White and the Huntsman (hey, that’s the title) are just getting out of an evil forest (much like the Fire Swamp from “Princess Bride”) only to be attacked by a troll. The princess just stares down and looks at it and it gets all sad, contemplative and walks away. I think the point of this scene is to show that Snow White has such a pure heart that she can even charm a troll, but we never see the troll again. One would think if you could charm a troll and then need to attack a castle later that you would go find that troll again and let it bash some people about like the cave troll from “The Lord of the Rings.” That’s just one thing this movie brought up, mentioned briefly and then forgotten, but I won’t spoil those for you. You’ll figure them out.
Bottom line: Charlize Theron is awesome, and the fantasy special effects remind me of the great fantasy movies (“Willow,” “Princess Bride,” “Legend,” “Princess Mononoke,” “Lady Hawk”).
Do you need to see it in the theater? Ah, no. But give it a shot on DVD sometime. Perhaps have a movie night where you watch all of the classic fantasy movies and then see where “Snow White and the Huntsman” ripped them all off.
Read more posts from Nathan R. Carlsen on his Areavoices blog, “Movie Reviews by Nate,” at duluthmovies.areavoices.com.