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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Sept 19: Snow White and the Huntsman


Sept 19: Snow White and the Huntsman

"In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen."
Directed by: Rupert Sanders, Rated: PG-13, 127 minutes

Snow White and the Huntsman is a fine example of the sad lengths Hollywood has gone to bring us movies. With each new adaptation, the story of Snow White becomes more and more unoriginal, with each attempt turning the classic fairy tale into something redundant and boring. To be honest, I don't think that the original source material warrants this many adaptations or this much recognition to begin with, and seeing 2012 give us not one, but two movies based off it is just disheartening. With reluctance, I decided to give Snow White and the Huntsman a shot, on the off-chance that it was worth my time, and as much as I wish I liked it, it's just too messy to call great. 

Messy... and ... milky? Charlize Theron does it all. 

The story is a lot of what we already know but includes bits of "the untold story never seen before". This is Hollywood's excuse at making something original and a lot of what you see in Snow White is already what we've seen hundreds of times before... but with more action, and Thor! Kristen Stewart plays the lead character, being the "fairest of them all" in a land ruined by an evil queen (Charlize Theron). Once White escapes the prison the queen locked her away in, she teams up with the huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), who's originally sent out to kill White, a bunch of digitally created dwarfs, and a prince she's supposedly in love with. That's really it for the story, as there is not a lot of substance in the film or a lot going on to really justify a 127 minute run-time. 

Normal sized actors are digitally made into dwarfs, as opposed to you know... real little people. While this seemed interesting, the dwarfs are featured in only a few scenes, completely defeating the purpose of using known actors. 

While Snow White and the Huntsman is nowhere near as bad as I expected the film to be, it did leave me pretty bored by its rather lackluster finale. The film suffers from many problems, with Kristen Stewart's presence being the most severe, but does manage to provide a handful of moments that are not only pretty badass, but even magical at times. Director Rupert Sanders (now known as the guy that broke Stewart and Robert Pattison up) shows that with his debut film, he's actually someone to keep an eye on. His style and visual flair is reminiscent of Guillermo Del Toro and shows that there may be a future for the young man. Even then though, there's only so far a director can take a weak script. The script is incredibly weak in the dialogue and pacing departments and as I mentioned, manages to drag out an already mundane idea into something that lasts over two hours. The film has moments of pretty solid action, but there's just not enough of it to keep it interesting. There are also scenes feature great creature design and visuals, but again, there's not enough to make the film that memorable. 

More creatures please. 

It's worth mentioning that Charlize Theron steals every scene she's in as the queen. Had the film focused solely on her and her wicked ways, the movie could have been something incredible. But again, with everything else I mentioned that's good about the movie, there's just not enough of her. And it's also worth noting (as everyone else has) that Theron wins in a hottie contest any day against Kristen Stewart and the fact the producers thought we'd believe anything else is baffling. Stewart brings the film down even further and her lackluster, phoned-in performance (as always) is just a joke at this point in her career. Chris Hemsworth does a great job as the huntsman and hearing him tackle a Scottish (I think?) accent and channel his badass Gerard Butler is worth a peek at. He continues to prove he's an action star and  I can only wait to see what he does post-Thor

Unlike another 'product' out of Australia- Sam Worthington, Chris actually has some acting chops. 

As a final product, Snow White and the Huntsman is sub-par. It's not bad, but it's far from good and has too many glaring problems to ignore. With a right script, and a tweaking of the cast, I feel Rupert Sanders could have delivered something incredible. Channeling his Del Toro and emulating The Lord of the Rings is very ambitious for a film debut but I feel he did do a pretty good job. Is it worth recommending? Yes, but don't go into the film thinking it's something incredible. It's fine start for a talented director that leaves you not only disappointed in what the end result is, but excited for what's next. Though the film doesn't necessarily leave much of a window for a sequel, there has been announcements that this movie would be the start of a franchise. I, for one, am actually hoping that the films go forward fully aware of the changes that need to be implemented. Here's hoping Kristen Stewart dies in a fire or retires from acting. 

The Good:
great visuals that tease the talent of director, Sanders, and fleeting moments of awesome that show signs there's something great hiding somewhere inside, as well as a damn sexy and creepy Charlize Theron
The Bad:
a script with horrible pacing that struggles getting from one place to another
The Ugly:
Kristen Stewart... that is all

Overall: 6.7/10


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At September 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM , Blogger Richard Kirkham said...

Great Visuals, not a very compelling story. I know what you are saying about the dwarfs, I thought they were underused an why hide them so much we don't even know the actors.

For comparison views:

At September 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM , Blogger Sati. said...

I loved the visuals and Theron's work but the film bored me to tears. Stewart wasn't the worst thing about it - the script and that dude who played her prince, who was also so freaking bland in that awful POTC sequel was terrible. Kristen wasn't the best here but she can be great - The Cake Eaters, Speak, Welcome to the Rileys and The Runaways are good examples of that.

At September 20, 2012 at 3:43 PM , Blogger Nick said...

She's at best, decent, in smaller roles but certainly has no talent to carry a movie like this, especially when she's supposed to be the fairest in the land. As for that prince, I agree. His presence was completely pointless and absolutely forgettable.

At September 20, 2012 at 3:44 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Yeah, I really don't understand the purpose of the dwarfs. Also, they sneak into the city through the sewer but after that I really don't remember what they did after that... so forgettable, such a shame

I'll check out your review tonight!

At September 21, 2012 at 2:20 AM , Anonymous Andina said...

I agree that Stewart was the weakest link in the movie. The visuals were breathtaking and Theron showed what she got. Funny thing is after I watched it I wonder why Stewart was cast in the 1st place.. I think we all know why ;)

At September 21, 2012 at 8:49 AM , Blogger Sati. said...

As for her looks I think there is no question Theron is more beautiful, but I thought in this movie it was more about youth - The Queen lost it and Snow White had it, The Queen couldn't stand that.

At September 21, 2012 at 1:55 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Yeah.. but the whole "fairest, fairest of them all" thing made me think of the looks.

At September 21, 2012 at 1:56 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Bang bang, bangity, bang a bang!


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