The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Chris Hemsworth
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
…over-produced and under-directed…
Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Emily Blunt), suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young ice queen spent years in a remote, wintry palace raising a legion of deadly Huntsmen, including Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain), only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: forever harden your hearts to love.
When Freya learns of her sister’s demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But the mirror’s golden depths hold unforeseen power, which threatens the enchanted land with more darkness than it’s ever seen. Now, Freya’s army shall prove unbeatable unless the banished Huntsmen who broke their Queen’s cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another.
Let’s face it, the expectations for this one were pretty lukewarm – and well they should be. While The Huntsman: Winter’s War is the flailing sequel-prequel (yes, somehow it’s both) to the largely forgettable Snow White & The Huntsman, its widely received criticisms are a tad undeserved. Sure, the script is a dog’s breakfast, as is the editing and the over-all plot, which seems to change inexplicably throughout – but the cast is skilled enough to keep you interested. Sadly though, the film is over-produced and under-directed, and while debut helmer, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, pulls off great action scenes and fantasy-realism, it isn’t quite enough to carry the film.
There is scenery-chewing from Theron and Chastain, and Hemsworth is predictably charming, handsome, and little more. Blunt, however, is the saving grace of the piece, giving her ice queen an alluring introverted malevolence that has you wishing she had more screen time. Criticisms aside, there are choice moments, including support from Nick Frost and Rob Brydon as two of Snow White’s dwarves. They add a much needed pinch of brevity to the otherwise beige script – fans of Edgar Wright regular, Nick Frost, in particular will get their jollies. The costumes, makeup, and hair are incredibly well executed, the action scenes are pretty killer, and the people are really attractive…but if you’re going in wanting more, you’re out of luck.