Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman is a stultifying bore of a film. Dramatically inert, dismally acted. There are a ton of characters in this story – none of which supply a reason to give a care. Let’s start with our main character Snow White. As played by Kristen Stewart she registers zero warmth, zero passion, and zero charisma. And isn’t Snow White supposed to be the fairest of them all? Apparently the costume designer forgot to read the tale. Stewart looks absolutely filthy throughout the entire movie. Hair is oily, dirty fingernails, clothes caked in dirt. “Arise, ye wretched of the earth and take a bath!” I kept hoping someone would say. She barely speaks and when she does it’s always a quiet depressed murmur like she‘s been called on in a classroom to discuss a book she forgot to read.  She’s like a robot, devoid of emotion. Without a lead character we can champion, we’re left with the supporting parts. Contributing to the proceedings most is Charlize Theron as the wicked queen. At first her melodramatic stares and self serious intonations seem like silly fun. But her performance gradually deteriorates into camp. It’s a subtle progression until one particularly awkward scene of screaming. When the queen’s brother accidentally allows Snow White to escape her dungeon, Theron’s histrionic fit that follows is a laughably theatrical display. Oh what Faye Dunaway could have done with this part! Chris Hemsworth is adequate but forgettable. Sadly, each of the dwarfs are portrayed by tall actors that are CGIed into looking like dwarfs. That’s regrettable. It might have made sense to forgo actual little people if the actors chosen had given engaging performances. They don’t – dreary and drab, every last one of them. I couldn’t tell you anything that would separate one dwarf from the other. I couldn’t tell you what their names were. Did they even have names? One dies I think.

It’s not a complete waste. There are some visual moments that are beautiful examples of CGI. But they’re so memorably stunning they become almost ridiculous in their excess. The evil queen is covered in silky white milk when she arises out of a rejuvenating bath, a knight thrusts a sword at the queen and she turns into a flock of black birds, crystal shards of black glass arrange themselves into fighting warriors then shatter into a million pieces. Incredible displays of technology, they literally beg the viewer, “Pay no attention to the script, look at these outrageous special effects!” They’re like glittering diamonds that might accentuate a diadem later revealed to be made of papier-mâché upon closer inspection.

Snow White and the Huntsman fails in virtually every way possible for a movie to fail. The screenwriters have decided to once again mangle the source material a la Mirror Mirror in foolish ways. But Mirror Mirror was a splendid joy compared to this dreck.  There’s nothing presented here to engage the emotions. Snow White never even falls in love with anyone. There is no Prince Charming! There is no love story! What about the person who frees Snow White from the wicked queen’s spell? He leaves right after kissing her so he’s oblivious to what his contact has accomplished. But before that important act, he gives a lengthy speech that is mind numbingly dull.  Just kiss her already! You’d think that was the end, but the action continues to limp along, piling on more plot. By the end the spectator is so dissatisfied you may not realize that Snow White has actually morphed into Joan of Arc as she leads her countrymen into battle. But by then we’ve ceased to care. The film is one long 127 minute debilitating yawn. It’s a poisonous curse more poisonous than any apple could ever be.

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31 Responses to “Snow White and the Huntsman”

  1. Agreed on almost every point, especially “the fairest of them all.” Ravenna’s mirror apparently was blind and you’re right, there was NO love story. Kristen Stewart is dull, but I do take issue with the dwarfs. i thought they were the only entertaining things in this piece.

    • Oh I like your comment. I had forgotten Theron had an actual name in this film. Seriously the mirror favored Kristen Stewart over Charlize Theron? Obviously the mirror was cracked. He looked very cool, but didn’t appear to have any eyes. He was like some amorphous golden mercury Terminator-like creature. It was actually voiced by an actor named Christopher Obi, but he sounded like James Earl Jones. On the dwarfs, I really wish they could have given those parts to actual little people.

  2. ” I couldn’t tell you anything that would separate one dwarf from the other. I couldn’t tell you what their names were. Did they even have names? One dies I think.”

    Haha, I love your review! I had my interest piqued by the trailer. I was excited for a more adult take on the fairy tale. But after your review, I’ll make sure to see it on DVD. I’ll try to see Mirror Mirror first since that’s the better adaptation, you seem to say.

    • Mirror Mirror isn’t great either, but it’s more entertaining. When I re-read this review I realize I really ripped this movie apart. Sometimes my reviews take a long time to write. This one didn’t. The words just flowed. 😉

  3. I didn’t hate this one as much as you did my friend, but I can definitely say that the film is lacking in the story department. Everything else surprisingly worked for me. Especially that fine Charlize Theron doing her thang as Queen Ravenna. Rawr! Good review Mark.

  4. atothewr Says:

    You know, I’m not surprised by what I read in your review and other reviews on the web. I had that feeling deep down inside when I saw that trailer the first time. That trailer just looked to good to be attached to a good movie.

    I also understand why they went with Kristen. Trying to milk one last bit of cash out of the Twilight crowd. I can think of so many more actresses who would be perfect in this role.

    I’ll probably take my wife to see it because she wants to see it, but if it was up to me I would wait till the DVD comes out.

    • The trailer fooled me because it looked like a good movie. You’re spot on about Kristen Stewart’s casting as well. That had everything to do with business and nothing to do with finding the right person for the part. If you do go see it, just focus on the pretty pictures. The visuals are incredible.

  5. It’s hard to disagree with most of what you said. This movie was just so empty, had very little to offer and ended up being more of a waste than I thought possible.

  6. martin250 Says:

    i have sensed your dissapointment with kungfu panda 2, but this must have been one of the worst movies you have seen in years. this review trampled it completely …like that poor charioteer in the ending race of Ben Hur.

    • martin250 Says:

      ..spell check..disappointment

    • Kung Fu Panda 2? Such a random reference but I’m kind of impressed. That was a disappointment of sorts, but I’d watch it 10 times in a row before I’d watch this snoozefest again.

      I must give credit to the person who cut the trailer. Give them a raise because they made this dross look like Lord of the Rings. I’ve never felt so duped.

  7. :)sorry for the random reference. i think i have pretty much read all your reviews for this year, and remember some flogging that kungfu panda 2 took. but wow, not like this.i remember feeling the same level of dissapointment for last years little red riding hood. nevertheless, i liked the review. always enjoy them, regardless of what star rating you give.

  8. Well said. I think you did a better job of articulating your point about the stupidity of using regular-sized actors to play the dwarves. You also got in a bit about the annoying lack of romance. They introduce a weird love triangle between her, William, and the Huntsman but never do anything with it. What a bunch of crap.

    • For some reason, they made Snow White this independent, asexual war hero. I’m not sure what version of Snow White the screenwriters read, but it sure wasn’t the Brothers Grimm.

  9. I’ve read mixed (mostly negative) reviews but this is by far the most scathing. I’m seeing it in a couple of hours. I’m preparing for the worst hehe.

  10. Wow, even after you’de read my review (http://wp.me/p1LZxf-CM) you said you would see it with lowered expectations, you REALLY didn’t like it at all, lol.
    It seemed to me that the writer was more focused on making it all about the queen, she’s the only one we get to see a back story for, we don’t get one for Snow White, at no point do we see her grieve for her father after his death, nor do we see any time during her incarceration in the tower, it just jumps forwards a decade. Chris Hemsworth’s huntsman is given a backstory, at least what counts for one in a line or two of dialogue, no flasbacks to him and his wife, though maybe they were filmed but cut because of his HORRENDOUS Scottish/Irish accent.

    • Exactly! What was her response to her father’s dearth? Kristen Stewart was so unemotional. She didn’t behave like human being. Her accent wasn’t any better then Hemsworth’s either. Hemsworth seems to have become the next Sam Worthington. You can decide if that’s a compliment. 😉

      • Come on, that’s a bit harsh. Hemsworth was trying, at least be moderately harsh and say he’s become the next Russell Crowe 🙂

    • Russell Crowe?! Why stop there – how about the next Jack Nicholson or Robert De Niro?

  11. Kirsten was the worst part of this movie for me. In what world is she more beautiful than Charlize.? Also I agree with everything you mentioned about her. This was dull. This is not Snow White. I wanted to like it, but didn’t.

  12. Utter tripe! I wondered why this movie was even made at all given how unoriginal the whole thing was. The director obviously was suckled on Lord of the Rings / Gladiator / Neverending Story / LAst Samurai / Chronicle of Narnia & Pan’s Labyrinth!!! TheBeast and I couldn’t stop laughing throughout this film, and we unite possibly heard the funniest crowd reaction during our screening (yes, school is out again for a week).

    This review is on the money – well written Amigo!

    • Perhaps if I could’ve laughed like you guys, I might have enjoyed it on a “so bad it’s good” level. When Charlize Theron went into her hissy fits I chuckled. But overall it was just so mind-numbingly boring for me to register enough emotion to even giggle.

  13. I’m about to watch this film–the extended version (4 min. longer). Can’t imagine it being much worse than Mirror Mirror, which I really hated. WISH. ME. LUCK.

  14. harleyisnarley Says:

    Agree, your review is perfect and why does Kristen Stuart keeping making such strange noises? It’s like she grunts all the time or something. I wish she would stop.

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