It’s still not my worst movie of the year, but this is definitely not picking up any major awards.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War is the half prequel, half sequel to Snow White and The Huntsman, which came out back in 2012. It went through a brief bought of developmental hell because of the scandal surrounding the 2012 movie: Kristen Stewart getting a little…uh…too friendly with the director at that time, Rupert Sanders – a bit of a problem because both were in relationships.
But I digress. It’s a clean slate, folks!
Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron reprise their roles as the Huntsman and the Evil Queen, Ravenna, respectively. Newcomers include Jessica Chastain as Sara, the Huntsman’s love, and Emily Blunt as Freya, the Ice Queen and Ravenna’s sister. All you need to know about the plot: Freya has something she loves taken away from her, which sends her down the rabbit hole that is her life as the Ice Queen.
While this isn’t the worst movie I’ve seen this year, I’d still classify this as a disappointment. I am a HUGE fan of Chastain, Blunt and Theron, and most people familiar with film in the last few years would know that these are very talented actresses. Sadly, that talent does not shine here. You’re more inclined to get excited over Colleen Atwood’s costume design offerings in this movie, and maybe react a couple of times to the hand-to-hand combat scenes, but that’s about all this movie has to offer.
What I can’t get past is how awful Jessica Chastain’s accent is. Like Ravenna, it comes and goes, and is unpredictable. Blunt’s Freya seems to be gunning for literal ice: it comes across in her performance. She’s too stiff and is basically a bizzaro version of Elsa from Frozen. By the time you’re attempting to empathize with her character, it’s too late. Some of the lines are also earsplitting – at one point I thought I was watching The Young and The Restless. You just get to a certain point where you’ve stopped caring about the characters in the film.
I also don’t care for the CGI. Where do I begin? There are WAY too many blips, particularly with the ice. Example: I found the ice wall Freya uses early on in the movie to look super tacky. It may almost be as bad as I found it to be in London Has Fallen.
For something that seemingly revolved around our dear Huntsman, he doesn’t do all that much for me here. He’s almost a secondary character, which, when comparing with the first film, I found there was a good blend of story between him and Snow White. Here, it seems like everyone has their own narrative, and they’re fighting for your attention.
In the end, it’s nothing to hate to pieces, but it’s nothing to freak out about. I’m inclined to suggest skipping this at the theatres altogether, but if you’re looking for a day out at the theatres, then sure, go see it. If you’re on the fence, then wait until it’s a rental/On Demand.
2-and-a-half magic mirrors out of five.