Thursday, June 07, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

This is the second Snow White movie to be released this year. They are both pretty different and frankly I'm not going to get into the similarities given that the other one is a Relativity title. Suffice it to say that the Relativity title Mirror Mirror was really a kids movie and this one was darker and more akin to Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.  Personally I think the trailers for Snow White and the Huntsman were damn effective especially for capitalizing on the Game of Thrones. It seems to do tough/gritty/magic with an effortlessness that seemed to elude the Clash and Wrath of the Titans flicks. But when the movie opened the reviews started to come in and it seemed like whatever hype that came out of the trailers the critics seem to be calling bullshit. The opening weekend was actually pretty successful, they opened to a solid 56 million, unseating Men in Black 3. According to Nikki Finke Hollywood can breathe a sigh of relief because this movie exceeded expectations, yippie! I guess it means we can expect more films over the next two years or so at least, thanks Nikki, I feel so much better about the future of my industry.

Like all of the fairy tale versions from before an evil Queen named Ravenna (Charlize Theron) seduces the nice King of the land and plots to take over his throne and imprison his daughter Snow White (Kristen Stewart) until she can solidify her power. Snow White escapes and the Queen sends out a Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to bring her back so she may devour her heart and apparently stay young forever.

Let me start off by saying I generally enjoyed the movie, it was beautifully filmed and the effects were pretty great. The performances were solid especially Hemsworth and Theron, it was appropriately dark and gritty and it was not silly in the least, so now you are thinking, ok so when is he getting to the but in his review--The pacing, oh the pacing, they totally botched the flow of this flick. This thing was all over the place and it didn't always feel like the Director knew where he wanted to go. He established plot threads and either dismissed them early or kept them dangling along until the end where they drop off altogether. The romance, or lack thereof,  between Snow and her childhood friend William (Sam Claflin) was poorly executed. They wanted to establish some kind of relationship between the two but there is no development at all between them and when they are reunited as adults it felt forced, especially when the Huntsman comes into the mix in a very odd love triangle. It felt in the beginning as if the Huntsman would act as a father figure or mentor to Snow but near the end of the film it seems to change and all of a sudden she seems to be into him romantically. I know the aren't related or anything but since the setup implied a father/daughter type relationship between them when she started giving him googly eyes it started to feel a little uncomfortable. And the way it ends leaves it even more ambiguous about what's going on with the three of them which frankly was a little annoying. But in the films defense I later heard that they are working on a sequel that I assume will clear up this love triangle business. Which leads me to kind of complain about Kristen Stewart, this girl was completely miscast in this film. The girl seems to have trouble smiling and she's playing a character that is described as a happy cheerful creature who is incapable of hatred. Really, this dour girl who can't seem to walk straight without hunching over who looks deeply depressed at almost all times except when she was dancing with one of the dwarfs. It's not her fault, really, Universal should have known better then to cast her but she just looks out of place then entire film especially when she has to shine in front of scene stealers like Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron and of course those dwarves, especially Ian McShane, Ray Winstone & Nick Frost.

Charlize was truly fantastic as she chewed every bit of scenery she could get her hands on. She really took it to the next level and you were always just waiting to see how far she was going to push it. I could tell that the director, Rupert Sanders, came from commercials cause that scene where the Queen is coming out of the milk looked just like one of those Dove commercials. Personally, I wish the guy had stayed there. He wasn't ready for a movie of this magnitude in my opinion. He did a great job with the visuals but he seemed to be lost at sea when it came to the pacing of the film and the direction of the actors. Overall it was a fun Summer blockbuster, it looks great and takes some interesting twists from the original Snow White story, unfortunately there isn't much character to work but until Prometheus and Spidey there aren't too many new options.

Grade: 3 Buckets


Speck said...

5 stars.

I can only agree with the william comments. He was a bit rushed and unflushed out...

BUT...this film wasn't about romance or love triangles...though they very lightly touched the subject...Im guessing thats more for the sequel.

Jeffrey Marvin said...

5 Stars, really Speck? It was a fun bit of fluff but it was trying way to hard to be that tough Snow White movie. Yes they botched the love triangle but they kind of botched the main plot too with her being the reason to unite everyone-sorry but Kristen Stewart struggled to fit this persona. I mostly blame the Director for these mistakes, which is why it didn't get at least 4 buckets. But 5, come on Speck.