It’s the fairy tale story we all know and love. Except it’s not. This one is much darker than any telling of it you’ve seen.
Snow White’s (Kristen Stewart) stepmother, Ravenna (Charlize Theron), has killed the king, Snow White’s father. She is taking over the kingdom. And she’s doing so with an iron fist. She has kept Snow White locked in the tower, that is, until Snow White escapes.
Ravenna sends a hunting group to chase down Snow White. Part of the posse is the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth). He’s not exactly sure why he’s sent to kill Snow White. But he follows orders and joins the group, chasing her into the black forest.
Once the Huntsman finds Snow White, he finds out the real story and decides to help her overthrow the new queen, and take her place leading the kingdom. Snow White amasses an army and leads a siege on the castle.
This version seems to try to be dark just for darkness’ sake. It seems to serve no real purpose. As such, I would say that it is probably a bit intense for the younger crowd who would typically watch a Snow White type movie. (If you want a more appropriate, recent retelling of the fairy tale, I would suggest Mirror, Mirror)
A lot of the dark elements are under-developed, unexplained, and don’t add a lot to the story. Take, for example, the hallucinogenic fog in the black forest. It is never explained why or how it behaves the way it does. Or that it even exists. If you’re going to have a mystical forest with sinister pitfalls, take a cue from The Princess Bride. Give us an explanation as to what to watch out for and what their purpose is. (Also, take note of the wonderful storytelling and great acting. Though, I may be a bit biased in that I grew up on this movie, placing it on a much higher pedestal than deserved, as happens from time to time.)
The potential is certainly there. The dark side of the story could have been so much more. It makes Ravenna’s character that much more menacing and dangerous. Charlize Theron does a decent job playing the part. It’s just not a spectacular job. Fault could partly lie with the script. And given the movie choices of late, I have a hard time seeing Chris Hemsworth as anything but Thor. Thus, seeing him with an axe rather than a hammer, seems a bit off.
And then there’s Kristen Stewart. Unlike Tom Cruise, I have an easy time jumping on the hate bandwagon. This is her usual flat, passionless “acting.” I really have difficulty buying her as a warrior leading a rebellion. Not even if the rebellion she is fighting a group of sparkling vampire haters. It was just a poor choice to fill the role.
While it’s not the worst movie I’ve seen (I have seen most of the Twilight saga, reluctantly), it’s not a terrible movie. It’s just not a great execution. It did nothing for me. If you’re still dying to see this movie, wait for the RedBox. It’s not worth the theater admission price.