Snow White and the Huntsman is the second adaptation of the tale for 2012. It was the one I was looking forward to the most as the trailer implied a more grown up offering rather than the cartoonish Mirror Mirror.
PLOT: After Snow White’s (Kristen Stewart) mother dies in a harsh winter her father’s depression is lifted by the first attractive female he meets. Unfortunately for Snow White her new step mother, Ravenna (Charlize Theron) is a narcissistic witch who is insanely jealous of Snow White’s beauty. Snow White escapes the castle and hides in the enchanted forest. Ravenna hires the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to bring her Snow’s heart. Snow White along with the help of several dwarves team up to defeat the wicked queen and save the kingdom. END PLOT
The story of Snow White is well known but credit should be given to Snow White and the Huntsman for trying to produce a more adult offering compared to Mirror Mirror.
The epic feel of Snow White was heavily featured in the trailer but unfortunately the battle action lasted no longer than the snippet in the previews. The fantasy element was played up greatly in the second act however the film ground to a halt so that Snow White could frolic with some fairies and stare slack jawed at a white deer for at least twelve minutes.
The tone of the film was extremely uneven and although the fantasy element during Snow’s initial journey into the dark forest was impressive the effects which followed added very little to the film.
As much as I was looking forward to Snow White my biggest fear was the casting of Kristen Stewart. I am not a fan of the Twilight saga and Stewart's portrayal of the Bella Swann has been consistently cringe worthy.
Stewart does pull of a fairly decent English accent however her “rally the troops into battle” speech is the most she speaks in the entire film. There was a noticeable lack of dialogue from the title character for the vast majority of the the two hour running time. Stewart’s method of hyperventilating to convey emotion is not fooling anyone and it beggars belief how she was cast as the lead in this film - she is a terrible actress who looks consistently bored. The only time I was convinced by her portrayal of Snow White was when she was unconscious.
Chris Hemsworth has proved that he has a strong sword arm and can now add Almost Scottish to his growing repertoire of almost accents. Hemsworth, although very muscular, is becoming a one trick pony albeit his trick is decent. Hemsworth’s next major role is playing the iconic James Hunt – this will be the role that defines what direction his career is going to take.
No real point to this picture but if Hemsworth is good as James Hunt I will love him forever!
Charlize Theron graduated top of the class of “ee-nun-see-ate to show that aye aaammm eeeevaaal” and although this was risky it didn’t stray into take the piss territory until after the film had ended. Theron was a strong villain who managed to evoke a certain amount of sympathy. The ageing effects were impressive and it was hard to tell when we were seeing the real Theron.
The supporting cast of dwarves were made up of Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost and the ever entertaining Ray Winstone but their screen time was limited and they were reduced to comic effect which was as uneven as the overall tone of the film.
The main problem with Snow White and the Huntsman wasn’t the casting. It was the severe lack of chemistry.
Snow White and the Huntsman spend a large portion of the film together and although Hemsworth tries hard Stewart looked bored throughout. There was no spark at all between the two leads.
It may have been because I was getting as bored as Stewart or it may have been because Sam Claflin was quite attractive but the film was lifted whenever he was on screen. What is it with me and an attractive man with a bow and arrow?
The introduction of William (Snow’s childhood friend) skewed the storyline slightly as he wasn’t the Prince or Snow White’s true love. I know this particular adaptation claimed to put a fresh twist on the tale but there is something about the three leads, their amounts of screen time and the ending in which Snow White didn’t choose a Prince just screamed to me that there were heavy edits in this film.
I really feel like the filmmakers realised that Stewart was the weak link and they desperately tried to write Snow White out of her own story. The fact that it was announced that the Huntsman would be getting his own movie meant alarm bells were ringing before the film was even released.
It would have been extremely easy to rename the film The Huntsman and tell it from his point of view and frankly that is what they should have done.
Snow White and the Huntsman is very much a missed opportunity as the basis for an epic fairy tale was there. It is just unfortunate a strong script and experienced director were not. Snow White and the Huntsman gets a 6/10.
As with most fantasy films it would have been greatly improved if Guillermo del Toro had been involved, but then again, I could end every single review with that comment.