Saturday, June 2, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman Review

Hollywood is rather interesting to follow because it seems to go through various phases. One of the recent phases is the fairy tale phase. Yes, turning a fairy tale into a movie has always been a popular thing to do, but this year specifically it was rejuvenated as there was originally four live action fairy tale movies planned, two Snow Whites, a Hansel and Gretel, and a Jack and the Beanstalk. As the year progressed the latter two chickened out and rescheduled to next year for various reasons leaving this year as a Snow White year. Early on I immediately predicted that the first Snow White movie, Mirror Mirror, would be the inferior Snow White film while Snow White and the Huntsman would be the superior. As you will tell as you read this review and compare it to my Mirror Mirror review (seen here), I was right. This movie is quite awesome while Mirror Mirror is extremely lame.

First and foremost I want to address my biggest concern going in. Kristen Stewart. That bothered me. Here you have this amazing looking movie that seems to combine Snow White with Lord of the Rings and you cast Kristen Stewart as the lead role? Seriously? Ummmm.. yeah! I decided that I was going to give her a second chance and I'm glad I did because she actually did a rather good job. Now she wasn't extremely spectacular and drop dead gorgeous, but for the direction the movie was trying to go with it, she fit the role quite nicely. Normally when you think of Snow White, the image of Disney's classic Snow White character will come to your mind. This extremely, almost unnaturally happy lady with a high squeaky voice. She never gets mad, worried, or angry but is very positive and friendly to everyone. Nope. That's not what you get in this. Instead we are treated to a down to earth, human Snow White. This movie does not have the tone that Disney's Snow White does as it is very dark and menacing at times. Thus with this Snow White we get a young lady that has been locked up in a tower for many years and is just getting her first shot at fresh air that she's had in quite some time and with that comes the natural emotions of fear, uncertainty, and non-trust that makes her fragile at times. But add to that she tries to be brave and positive with a few moments of relaxation and happiness as well. This version of Snow White requires someone who can act. Did you know that Kristen Stewart can act and show emotion? Yeah, neither did I, but she can. And she does have a natural beauty to her. Snow White is supposed to be the fairest of them all. I wouldn't call Kristen Stewart the prettiest girl on earth, but they didn't need to cast that to make it work. Instead of making it look like a forced beauty, it is natural and human and I think it works quite well. I am impressed.

But now for a quick second, lets jump from one beauty to the other one. Charlize Theron as the evil Queen. Oh my flippin' goodness, she is so amazing in this. Quite honestly the perfect evil queen. The evil queen is supposed to be one of the fairest in the land and Charlize Theron is quite breathtaking in that manner. But oh she is so evil. And its a convincing evil, unlike Julia Robert's embarrassing failure in Mirror Mirror. And they do a great job of making her look old when the story line requires it as she switches back and forth from being old and ugly to young and beautiful again. So yeah, as is the case in Snow White, a big focus is placed on these two women which is great. The movie does like showing off the women just so you are forewarned if that bothers you, but I honestly didn't find it distracting and I am one that is usually more sensitive to that. Yes the queen has this thing where she likes to sit naked on occasion but all we see is her bare back in a couple of scenes. Yes, there are times where they both show off cleavage, like when Snow White is running and her dress falls off her shoulders or when it does an extreme close up of her with her slightly low cut dress. Like I said, it didn't bother me, but in being objective it is there if it bothers you.

But now that I've spent all that time on our two ladies, lets talk about the actual movie for a bit. It's not a happy Disney version of Snow White. It is closer to the Grimm Brother's version. There is a lot of action and a lot of dark scenes, which I think makes it awesome. I don't need to tell you what the story of Snow White is because you already know, but worth noting is that they do a good job of making it their own. It follows the typically Snow White story to start the movie with Snow White escaping, the queen sending the Huntsman to kill her, and the Huntsman finding her but not being able to do it. Where it digresses is in this version is after that. The Huntsman not only spares Snow White, but he stays with her the whole movie, becoming her protector as well as her mentor as they of course go on the quest to dethrone the wicked queen. Also unique to this story is the major Lord of the Rings esque battles that really add to this movie's awesomeness. With that in mind, the best part of the movie is easily the visual effects. They were quite amazing. I was a big fan of the costumes in the movie, especially the Queen's outfits. Also the music was great. All this added to a very beautiful movie going along with the interesting, action packed story line and the great acting for just about everyone.

Now was this movie perfect? No, it wasn't. I had really high expectations for this movie and while I really enjoyed it, it wasn't quite as epic as I imagined it being. The script could've used some work. I also felt like we could've spent a bit more time getting to know the characters much better. It seemed like once they were introduced, the movie expected you to automatically know who they are and what their role is and just jumped right into it. It also seemed a bit rushed as they tried to do too much. It felt like they crammed 3 or 4 hours of movie into one movie. They could've used this same story line and done two or three movies from it, which is honestly what I thought was going to happen because I had heard already that this was an intended trilogy. I expected the first third portion of the Snow White story with this but instead was given the whole story in one movie, which one caught me off guard with the way they finished it and two made extremely curious as to how they plan on doing a sequel to this, but I will leave it at that because an elaboration would require me to spoil the movie and I won't do that for you. The movie also felt really long despite all this. It was only two hours and seven minutes, but it felt like I was sitting there for three hours. 

So like I said, it wasn't as great as I thought it would be. There are several imperfections, but overall I really enjoyed this movie. In deciding a number out of 10, a 7 seems a bit low while 8 may be a touch high, so I will go right in between that and give it a solid 7.5 out of 10 and strongly recommend you go see it. It is worth your money.  

No comments:

Post a Comment