Matt's review will be up once he is back from the Prometheus screening tonight. But in the mean time RAMA is back with another review.
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN visually redefined fairy tales, it’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before. The dark forest should get a best supporting nod for being ridiculously creepy. It plays Jedi mind tricks on your eyes. I’m sure those who’ve tried LSD once in their lifetime would want to get lost in that place.
All joking aside, the film does have too much emphasis on the visual, which is not surprising, seeing that this is first time feature director Rupert Sanders’ field of expertise, if you’re familiar with his commercials especially the one for Sears’ Arboretum, but the script is weak and Sanders’ direction is rather uninspired. Sure the movie has all kinds of freaky fairies and gigantic troll and other mind-twisting imagery, but a film can’t rely just on those. And how is it titled SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, when the strongest points are Queen Ravenna and the dwarves?! They’re practically the whole show, they steal every scene that both Snow White and the Huntsman are in…
In the epic action-adventure Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart (Twilight) plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Oscar(r) winner Charlize Theron) out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth, Thor) dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White’s beauty and power. The breathtaking new vision of the legendary tale is from Joe Roth, the producer of Alice in Wonderland, producer Sam Mercer (The Sixth Sense) and acclaimed commercial director and state-of-the-art visualist Rupert Sanders.
Let me make this clear that it’s going to take a while or it’s going to take more than just this movie for Kristen Stewart to distance herself from her iconic role Bella. I give B for good effort but her accent comes on and off and her rage and expressions are still Bella’s but I’m inclined to put the blame on first time director Sanders who may not seem to have a full understanding of characters, how they’d interact, how they’d develop, and for a guy who’s good at visuals, there’s no creativity in staging some of the scenes including the final battle. This movie has butterflies that could turn into some kind of giant white moose but there’s nothing extraordinary or inventive about everything else.
I think the concept is also flawed, the idea of making Snow White to be this kind of messy angel that everything and everyone would immediately be so in awe of, seems a bit silly. I think the huntsman and I are the only ones that don’t understand why nature would just bow down without question. There’s a scene where Snow White just escaped from the castle and found herself on the shores, and out of the blue just sat there a white horse as if it was waiting for her all that time, that kind of wonderment may work in Sanders’ commercials but here it may cause audiences to chuckle.
Charlize Theron is a remarkable actress, let me repeat that.. Charlize Theron is a remarkable actress and her performance as Queen Ravenna is a reminder why Theron is one of all time’s greatest. Evil, ruthless, and unpredictable don’t even begin to describe. Theron as Ravenna would take her competition, Julia Roberts in Mirror Mirror, and smash her into pieces and she’d still have some time to smile.
I have to give mad credits to the costumes by Colleen Atwood, the ones worn by Ravenna faithfully follows the character, from glory to darkness to downfall.
I think Chris Hemsworth does a decent job for what’s given to him, considering this is the role that other actors like Hugh Jackman decided to turn down. I’m still not sure what type of accent that Hemworth acquired for the huntsman but at least you don’t see THOR at all. If he can’t do more, it’s only because the weak script doesn’t allow him to.
You’re gonna get a kick out of watching the dwarfized Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Johnny Harris, Brian Gleeson and Toby Jones. These are all fantastic Brit thesps, each with a body of work that we all know about, so to see them in this format, if you will, is simply amusing and they seem to be having a blast. Sadly for actor Sam Claflin who plays prince William, he’s barely visible. But then again, his role in Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides wasn’t that memorable either. Poor guy can’t catch a break.
I think the dark forest plays a very significant supporting role in this movie and the brothers grimm would pee their pants. The dark forest and the fairies home become sort of a playground for director Rupert Sanders, he’s in his element in those places, where anything goes, where imagination and terror go hand in hand.
I think Sanders should not consider this first time venture, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, as failure but it’s something that he could definitely take and learn from the next time he tackles something this ambitious.
GRADE: 3 out of 5
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