I Saw A Film Today… Snow White and the Huntsman

I blame Twilight for films like Snow White and the Huntsman and Red Riding Hood being produced in Hollywood today. I know, big surprise I would blame Twilight for something. But these abominable reproductions of misguided love stories are a problem I believe. I mean, we peddle this rubbish out to the youth and then we’re surprised when little Johnny gets little Suzy pregnant?  Harry Potter didn’t find success using this triangle of emotional porn, yet within the realms of the religious community those amazing books more demonized than the Stephanie Meyer books. I would rather my child read about valiant witches and wizards than a girl who goes into an emotional coma after rejection. Sort out the true evil people.

******

Once upon a time (this is how these things start, right?) in a land with a positively Gothic castle, there lives a Queen and King who rule a kingdom with fairness. Odd, I know. After cutting her in the garden, the Queen decides she wants a daughter with blood-red lips, snow-white skin, and hair as black as a raven. And wouldn’t you know it, little Snow White is born and she has all those qualities! Imagine that.

Fast forward a bit and the Queen (Liberty Ross) is dead and the grieving King Magnus (Noah Huntley) is waging war against a mysterious army that is easily defeated. But in the midst of what was left by the conquered is a pretty woman named Ravenna who the next day becomes the new Queen (Charlize Theron) and almost instantly kills the King, brings her brother in (Sam Spruell), locks Snow White in a cell, and darkness falls across the land.

Fast forward a few more years and little Snow White is all grown (here portrayed by Ms. Emotional herself Kristen Stewart) and still locked up. That is until she escapes and flees to the Dark Forest. She is pursued by Queen Ravenna and a drunkard huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) who eventually helps her. Now Snow White plans to bring the fight to the front door of Ravenna and take the throne from her. Who will win, good or evil? Good, obviously. Not really a spoiler now is it?

Snow White is a perfect example of what happens when fantasy and reality are attempted to be melded together, a task rarely achieved, unsuccessfully. This film tries so hard to be dark, gritty, and real. Yet when something, for example, like the mirror on the wall melts into a human form it is almost comically ridiculous. And this is just one example.

The biggest issue with this whole film is just how little structure it has. For two hours you just feel like you’re floating through a world with no geography or really any purpose. There are many scenes that are only there for the simple use of imagery. Not to mention for a film that relies so much on action sequences, those scenes are rather lackluster and boring. For example, there is a scene where Hemsworth and Stewart are attacked by a troll. It is short, uneventful, and only ends because Stewart stares at it and it goes away.

This is how much of Stewart’s performance goes. Just a lot of staring at things with no real purpose. People have made jokes about her lack of a range of emotions many times before. I’ve always kept an open mind about her but I can honestly say that she truly does only have three emotions here: confusion, fear, and indifference. Here smiles are forced as are anything else. And is it impossible for this girl not to toy or fall in love with two men in every film she does?

Charlize Theron’s performance is one of the few things I actually enjoyed. Her performance balances between power and psychotic, a little raw sexuality for complexity. It is hinted at that she is a person who actually has psychiatric disorder, specifically in regards to her relationship with the magic mirror. She is beautiful as only a woman drunk with power can be. The other performance that is of note is Chris Hemsworth’s. He’s proven with his performances in Thor and The Avengers that he is an impressive action star and this time around is no different.

Snow White and the Huntsmen relies heavily on style over substance and story and unfortunately this combination never works out. Didn’t work for the obviously terrible Sucker Punch and it doesn’t work here.

Verdict: SKIP IT!

*Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality.

** Poster by Andrew Tucker.

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