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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4%
Worth A Look: 12%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad60%
Total Crap: 24%

3 reviews, 7 user ratings

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Snow White and the Huntsman
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Theron is the vampiest of them all; the rest is boredom."
2 stars

If itís a darker, grittier "Snow White" youíre looking for, allow me to point you to the little-seen 1997 effort "Snow White: A Tale of Terror," a justifiably R-rated version starring Sigourney Weaver as the complexly jealous wicked queen.

Fifteen years on, weíve now had two competing Snow White run-throughs in the same year: last Marchís much lighter Mirror Mirror, and now Snow White and the Huntsman, though a more accurate title might be Charlize Theron Chews Every Available Scrap of Scenery (Also Starring Snow White). A Snow White, it seems, is only as good as its evil queen, and Theron gives an instant-camp-classic performance destined to be cloned by drag queens from sea to shining sea this Halloween. Itís a grand, startling turn in a grim, plodding movie that, without Theron, would be fighting Snow White for room on the slab by the end.

Not that thereís much perceptible difference even before Snow White officially points her toes up. (I am writing to a reader who knows the basic story, right? This isnít a spoiler.) As Snow White, Kristen Stewart tries; occasionally she bestirs herself to smile and even laugh, which mustíve required a basket of kittens licking her feet off-camera. I do not hate this poor young woman, whose Twilight role has propelled her to everlasting fame whether she wanted it or not (Iím guessing she didnít), but sheís such a tabula rasa I canít see how she could arouse emotion in anyone one way or the other. When Snow White has to inspire the oppressed villagers against the queen, Stewart gets her voice up, but only to be heard in the back row, I think; thereís no passion in her speech (not entirely her fault, as the three credited screenwriters donít come near the ringing poetry of the St. Crispinís Day speech, but then who could?).

A first effort by Rupert Sanders, yet another commercial director, Snow White and the Huntsman tries and fails to hold our attention with a lot of hacking and hewing. Much of it is done by Chris Hemsworth as the semi-titular huntsman; Hemsworth seems to have a lot more fun as Thor, who doesnít labor under a Sad Backstory involving a dead wife. At one point, our noble huntsman says he was a worthless brawler before his wife changed him, and now heís reverted to form; suddenly weíre in Unforgiven Lite. We also have eight dwarves, all played by conventionally-proportioned actors (Ian McShane, Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins, etc.) digitally shortened and, I kept thinking, stealing work from eight actors of lesser height. Peter Dinklage is widely considered the jewel in the crown of HBOís Game of Thrones, but he is a glowing exception; most little people have to make do with low-comedy roles like the guy who went around junk-punching everyone in Project X. At least Mirror Mirror employed little people as the dwarves (including the Project X guy).

Thereís a good amount of dark magic and light magic: tree limbs made of snakes, a massive stag that turns into a flock of birds, various faeries capering about or riding on bunnies. Itís visually diverting but feels inorganic ó just CGI demo reels plopped in for Kristen Stewart to attempt to look upon with awe. The best effect, aside from the magnificently seething Theron, is Sam Spruell as the queenís viciously nasty brother with an equally nasty pageboy haircut. A better script would give Spruell space to gallop away with the scenes that donít involve Theron, but he does what he can, right down to the obligatory bit where he informs the huntsman that his wife screamed his name before she died. And what name would that be? ďHuntsmanĒ? Oh, according to Wikipedia itís Eric, though I donít recall hearing it in the film. It couldíve been momentary deafness caused by intense boredom.

You know what has to happen: Snow White has to defeat the queen, especially in a movie that cost somewhere near $170 million. At the climax, when Snow White informs the queen ďYou cannot have my heart,Ē Kristen Stewart makes it sound as though Snow White is declining the queen the use of her Blackberry. The queen dies of wrinkles caused by intense boredom, and Snow White is crowned the new queen. Thereís no king for her yet, though there is a William, a childhood friend who shows some vague affection for her, and thereís Eric the huntsman, and dear god, is this thing setting us up for a sequel in which Kristen Stewart has to negotiate yet another love triangle?

"Snow White and the Huntsman and Some Guy Named William," coming to a theater near you in 2014.

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originally posted: 06/04/12 06:55:04
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User Comments

9/25/13 Sidhe Beautiful movie with one horrible flaw. Stewart. (The magic mirror needs an eyecheck!) 4 stars
10/24/12 lee beautiful and epic 5 stars
9/10/12 action movie fan snow white meets lord of the rings could have been alot better 2 stars
6/11/12 KingNeutron I liked it, but it was a trifle long 4 stars
6/04/12 Janine Usually can trust Peter S., but this wasn't bad and Mirror Mirror was NOT better. 4 stars
6/04/12 Abby Fisher Forgot the script in lieu of cool visuals 2 stars
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  01-Jun-2012 (PG-13)
  DVD: 11-Sep-2012


  DVD: 11-Sep-2012

Directed by
  Rupert Sanders

Written by
  Evan Daugherty

  Chris Hemsworth
  Kristen Stewart
  Charlize Theron
  Sam Claflin

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