Snow White and the Huntsman (Rated PG-13) 4 STARS
There are several minor problems and one major flaw with Snow White and the Huntsman (127 minutes). First, the romantic subplot falls flat. There is an attempt to introduce a love triangle but it isn’t well done and none of the lead actors had any chemistry. Second, the backstory of the evil queen isn’t as fleshed out as it needed to be. Third, it’s way too long. Fourth, did the dwarves need to be a part of the story? And, if they did indeed need to be part of the story, were there no actual little people looking for work? Peter Dinklage is probably a bit busy with Game of Thrones, but I don’t think that Warwick Davis had any post-Harry Potter roles lined up. Last but not least, in a scene that comes off as just a wee bit forced, the heroes travel to freaking fairyland.
Finally, in a major misstep, the filmmakers try to sell the audience on the idea that Kristen Stewart is fairer than Charlize Theron. In what twisted fairytale version of reality are you operating that you look at those two women and Kristen Stewart comes out ahead in any way? Inconceivable. Well, at least it was more watchable than Mirror, Mirror. Be warned though … that was a pretty easy contest to win.
Chris Hemsworth starts us off with a voiceover narration of the story of Snow White. The not-evil Queen has her spawn and then dies in the name of plot convenience. The King (Noah Huntley) is a bit upset, but he gets over his loss quickly enough when he sees Ravenna (Theron). Things go pear-shaped on their wedding night and the new Queen takes over and imprisons the princess.
After years of Ravenna’s rule, the realm descends into a major economic depression caused by a sharp decrease in arable land and a consequent reduction in agricultural production. As boring as that last sentence was, it still does not demonstrate how bored I was during the early part of this film. Things pick up a bit once the now-grown Snow White (Stewart) decides to let the birds lead her in a daring escape. Yes, the birds. All the little forest creatures just love Snow White, though why they waited eight years or so to get into the act is left a mystery for the audience to ponder.
She flees on a MacGuffin in the shape of a pretty white horse, which she leaves for dead the moment it becomes an inconvenience. While running in the Dark Forest she is exposed to some psychedelic mushrooms and she passes out just inside the forest in the midst of a bad trip. Meanwhile, her pursuers, failing to realize she is literally a few steps inside the forest, get all freaked out and head back to the castle. There, the Queen demands they find someone to guide them through the forest.
Finally, the Huntsman (Hemsworth) appears. His poorly explained backstory allows the Queen to manipulate him into going after her escaped prisoner in the company of the Queen’s brother (Sam Spruell). Of course, he switches sides and leads the princess deeper into the forest where they encounter some adventures, finally meeting the eight dwarves. Hmm … eight Dwarves? But doesn’t the Disney version mention only seven? I wonder if something will happen to one of those dwarves?
Anyway, even though the dwarves are totally played by awesome actors shrunk down Lord of the Rings Hobbit-style, I could have done without. And honestly, there was something distasteful about the fact that the dwarves weren’t played by actual little people, as well as the way the characters were used primarily for comic relief. Overall, the film is more or less family friendly and seems to have wide appeal, it just didn’t appeal to me.
Now showing at Wynnsong 7, Carmike 12 and Carmike Market Fair 15.