UK Release date: 30th May 2012
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 20th April 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I’m not sure quite how this one ended up on ‘The List’; maybe I was feeling generous that day or something. Needless to say, it was added and the rules state, once added it cannot be removed except by royal decree or particularly scathing reviews. Sadly neither happened and so I have now done my duty and duly watched said movie. To be honest, it wasn’t quite as bad as I was expecting; that’s not to say it’s good though. I’ll tell you more after this very brief summary.
This is basically a re-telling of the story of Snow White; of course, with a slightly different twist to the traditional. For those that don’t know it; evil queen, Revenna (Charlize Theron) kills Snow White’s father (the king) and takes over the kingdom. All is darkness and Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is kept in a tower until she becomes ‘of age’. At this point she becomes a treat to the queen and she sends her brother Finn (Sam Spruell) to fetch her so she can kill her. Snow White escapes into the dark forest. Revenna sends The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) after her, promising to bring back his dead wife if he returns with Snow White. He finds her but she convinces him that the queen is going to double cross him and so he goes with her through the forest pursued by Finn. Eventually they meet some dwarves (played by various famous British & Irish actors) who help them escape Finn. They find Sanctuary and it is here that it is discovered just what Snow White is and how she can put an end to Revenna’s reign. I guess I had better leave it there or you’ll be thinking it’s a lot better than it actually is.
A film that relies very heavily on special effects and I think it’s because of this that it doesn’t quite work. I never see it as a good sign when there are more than two writers and there are three in this case. I generally means that the studio has had more than a passing interest in the mechanics of the storytelling (never a good sign). What you end up with (as in this case) is a film that looks very good, but usually has little, or no, substance. Yes, Charlize Theron is pretty good as the evil queen, as is Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman; sadly the same cannot be said of Kristen Stewart. Don’t get me wrong, I rate her as an actress but she just doesn’t have the screen presence to carry off this role. I give her full marks for effort, but, for me at least, it didn’t quite work. Over all, the film only got interesting when the dwarves turned up and that was an hour into it. I think for the sequel (yes there’s a sequel in the works) they’ll have to put a lot more work into telling the story and a little less into making it look good on screen.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED (…but only just)
My score: 5.8/10.
IMDb Score: 6.2/10 (based on 136,602 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 57/100: (Based on 39 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 54/100 (based on 307,750 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
The Huntsman: [narration] Once upon a time, in deep winter, a queen was admiring the falling snow, when she saw a rose blooming in defiance of the cold. Reaching for it she pricked her finger and three drops of blood fell. And because the red seemed so alive against the white she thought, “If only I had a child as white as snow, lips as red as blood, hair as black as a raven's wings, and all with the strength of that rose.” Soon after a daughter was born to the queen and was named Snow White.
Gort: We used to have pride. Now we just pilfer and drink and dream about when we didn't. Every man here would die for the chance of becoming that man again. So we follow you, Princess, in life and in death and we shall have our pride again. On Gus’ soul on this, I swear.
Ravenna’s Mother: Your beauty is all that can save you, Ravenna! This spell will make your beauty your power and protection. By fairest blood it is done. But be warned, by fairest blood this spell can be undone.
Snow White: Do you drink to drown your sorrows? Or your conscience?
The Huntsman: What concern is it of yours why I drink?
Snow White: I suppose a man's sorrows are his own.
The Huntsman: What does a young girl like you know about sorrow?