Review: Snow White and the Huntsman (SWATH)

Snow White and the Huntsman is a new take on a well known tale. Instead of a Disney-fied Snow White with her dependence on men to make her dreams come true, we are supposed to see a strong willed and defiant Snow White in a darker world. The role of Snow White is played by Kristen Stewart (Twilight). I assume taking on this role was a conscious decision on Stewart's part. Anything that she can do at this point to move away from the stigma of the character Bella in the Twilight series is a good move. Stewart does a better job in this role than expected; however, when expectations are low, there is nowhere to go but up.

The Huntsman is played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor and the Avengers) and his character makes the movie. Unlike the somewhat flat role of Thor played by Hemsworth in both Marvel films, this role has a much more colorful tone. We first meet the Huntsman as he is being thrown from a bar. His quippy dialogue immediately invokes endearment from the viewer. Although Hemsworth's performance brings a lot to the film, it is not enough to save it from the overly contrived and unexplained plot.

The Evil Queen is played by Charlize Theron. This casting was appropriate for the role and Theron does a good (somewhat over the top) job of portraying it. What was most strange about this film was the Angelina Jolie and her brother type of relationship between the Queen and her brother. Many of their interactions are just a bit creepy. Furthermore, it is hinted at in the film that the brother is a serial rapist. WTF?...Darker indeed!

Since the title of the film is Snow White and the Huntsman, it only seems natural the the dwarves would play a much smaller role in the film. Even though they are not present for over half the film, they are played by some pretty well known actors including Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, and Ray Winstone. Too bad for actors who are of the same stature as Peter Dinklage. The dwarves in this film were less cuddly than past portrayals and seemed more like individuals that might actually work in a mine. There is no singing of high-ho, but there is singing.

The crux of the plot is of course still the same. The Queen is trying to kill Snow White in order to be the fairest in the land. However, in this version the Queen's powers suck the land dry as well. Everything withers and dies under her rule. Snow White on the other hand is the bringer of life. In fact, She calms a troll and he walks away just by looking at her. Conan O'Brien had a funny take on this scene which is embedded below:

This magical power is never explained beyond her innocence. Who knew that innocence could give you magical powers or in this case, fairest blood.

The fight scenes in the film leave much to be desired in my opinion. I had a hard time telling what was going on in most of them. I think either a better fight choreographer or camera man was in order. All in all the movie was OK. It wasn't bad and it wasn't great. They tried to get the epic feel of Lord of the Rings, but it came off as a little forced. Is it worth seeing in the theater? Yes, if you have nothing better to do and just want to see a movie.

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