Monday, June 4, 2012

Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsmen

When the first trailers for this movie began to appear online, I thought, oh dear, Kristen Stewart, what have you gotten yourself into.  But with Charlize Theron, I can speak no ill about any project she is involved with.  She is stunningly beautiful and terrifying in one breadth.  As soon as she appears on screen, there is no question to the ending.

The story of Snow White isn’t new, the idea has been rehashed time and time again, but in this new version, the premise that makes it different is that it is darker and scarier.  While I’d like to say that it delivers this, there are various setbacks.  The story begins with a happy family, mother giving birth to a perfect daughter, the love of the entire kingdom.  The mother grows ill and dies, and the father falls in love with another woman, who promptly kills him.  She takes over the kingdom, locking Snow White in a tower.  She narrowly escapes, but is sought after by the Queen.  She finds the lost princess, poisons her and she is only revived by a prince.  The princess, now revived, leads an army to take the Queen.

The story is done with amazing special effects, the darkness creeping out of the theatre with the castle in ruins and the Queen killing innocent women to gain youth.  The princess is played perfectly by Kristen Stewart, the normally mono-emotional Bella Swan.  With a very believable British accent, Stewart takes on the oft-weak role of the princess and makes her tougher and more dynamic, someone young girls could wish to be, a princess that doesn’t need saving, but can lead an army.  There was a great moment, towards the end of the movie, where Stewart gives a rousing speech about fighting the Queen and it made me think of Keira Knightley’s failed attempt at the end of At World’s End, doing the same, but failing miserably.  Stewart gets a lot of flak for her wooden performances in the Twilights series, but redeems herself slightly with this surprising performance.  Across from the stunning Theron and the always surly Chris Hemsworth, she held her own.

The cast was made up of other cast-offs, none truly taking the stage away from any of the main talent.  Theron makes bad beautiful again, terrifying all with her sudden aging and thirst for a lease on life.  Hemsworth plays the atypical hero, I am starting to realise he plays the same character in every movie, nice to look at, so no complaints there, really.

Overall, the movie is worth watching, but doesn’t break any new ground on an age-old story.  The movie is worth seeing, if just for the great female performances.

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