Though most of the big movies this year are about spandex clad overly buff people saving the world, there’s something else there. People, we seem to be in the middle of something of a fairy-tale fad. Oh, it’s nothing compared to the vampire fad that the Twilight series kicked off, but it’s noticeable, and it’s there. One such movie that can be said to be part of this fad is Snow White and the Huntsman which stars, funnily enough, Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame, as well as Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth – who made his fame as a spandex clad overly buff hero saving the world, funny that.
Now, everyone one knows the Snow White story, it’s a tale as old as time. (Beauty and the Beast reference unintentional). To the more traditional telling, SWATH adds political mess, dark magic, and kick-ass females taking the fore. All of which make for entertaining viewing. This is a Snow White story for the Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones crowd, not necessarily for the Disney people.
Stewart stars as the first of our title characters, and let me tell something to you: I am not a big Stewart fan. While I find her non-Twilight work shows that she can, in fact, act, I find her lacking emotional range to prove a hindrance more often than not. Now, bearing that in mind? Her Snow White is immensely likeable, and Stewart’s style helps to portray this emotionally stunted character with surprisingly clarity, making her exceptional circumstances all the more real to the viewer. Snow, in this incarnation, is a Princess who has been imprisoned for near 10 years, and while has matured somewhat, is still mentally and emotionally quite young, and Stewart handles this surprisingly well. Her Snow is someone that is easy to connect with and feel for, and you want her to succeed in her hopes of taking back her throne.
Theron is the crazy Queen Ravenna, currently on Snow’s throne. When I say crazy, I don’t mean slightly different from normal, I mean seriously needs some therapy or something ’cause that girl cray cray. Ravenna is gloriously evil, but not without understandable motives and reasoning behind her disturbed mental state. Theron’s performance is the strongest of the movie, easily, and Ravenna is interesting to watch as she slowly unfolds, and we see her way to her destruction. This Evil Queen is sinister, horrifying, and yet it is hard not to have some level of sympathy for her.
Hemsworth is the Huntsman, a drunken, sarcastic mess of a man. Admittedly, while I think the role would have been better suited for someone older than Hemsworth, I have to admit his performance is enjoyable, and his character has some of the best lines in the whole film.
As mentioned, the plot of the film is the typical Snow White plot, with the added bonus of reclaiming one’s throne. However, the whole true love aspect? It’s … not exactly what you could call necessary text to the movie. What is far more important is the taking back the throne and putting right the wrongs done to the Kingdom, and this is a very refreshing take on the whole thing. Oh, there’s a Chosen One plot, but find me a fantasy movie of the last decade that doesn’t shoe-horn that in. At least it’s slightly less clumsy here, though I’ll admit they could have cut it out and still gotten the same end result.
Snow White and the Huntsman is not going to be the runaway blockbuster hit of the summer, not with The Avengers, The Hunger Games, and Pixar’s Brave coming out. It’s not even going to go down as a forgotten classic, more’s the pity.
When it comes down to it, SWATH is a good movie. It’s not something that you need to switch your brain off to watch, and it provides two hours of entertainment. Might be a little slow to start off, but once it gets moving, it gets moving and doesn’t stop ‘til it’s taken back what is rightfully its.
Like I said, this is for the Lord of the Rings / Game of Thrones crowd, but if you like a movie that has a coming of age plot, mixed with strong female characters who kick ass, then I recommend this one for you.
I’ll give it … 3 1/2 out of 5.