Snow White & The Huntsman: A Review
This movie was an incredible, stunning, visually brilliant style over substance misfire. Had not one shred of depth to match the incredible breadth of its framing.
-The visuals in terms of the cinematography. Pretty much from scene one, the snowy land, the blood drops against the white, the mirror’s liquid gold, the Evil Queen’s milk bath, Snow in the Enchanted Forest, on and on, this movie was magically beautiful.
-The Magic Acid Trip Poppy Seed gas pellets in the Dark Forest. It’s so cool how dark forests always have these organic plants that totally jack you up, but the way the hallucinatory experiences were shot were fantastic. You felt what the characters were feeling, while observing them at the same time. It was just great.
-The Dwarves. Holy cow they were some of the best parts of the movie. The Dwarves are pretty much the only people in the movie that make sense; gold miners who can see their bounty even in the dark, seeking to regain the life that they had lost with the death of the King. Really organic and believable, and they were just so freaking funny. Often the dwarves in the story of Snow White are humorous, sometimes they’re dirty, but here on top of being full of chuckles, they were actually noble and brave. Loved them.
-Chris Hemsworth as Thor. I mean, as Curt. I mean, as The Huntsman. Yah. They’re that interchangeable. Don’t get me wrong, I think Hemsworth can act, but putting him in this type of role yet again just cements the stereotype and his possible typecasting. We as the audience know who this cliched character is from scene one, his drunken brawl introduction scene….the good ol’ Jockstrap Meathead. We’ve seen him a thousand times before. And instead of making him unique in some way, or even fleshing him out, we get zero backstory other than a dead wife.
-Kristen Stewart as Snow White. It’s not that I didn’t like her…it’s more that she’s always Bella. Who is actually Kristen. Kind of like Kristin Kreuk is always Lana. What I mean by that is, Stewart’s expressions, ticks, they’re always the same, just there in different degrees. That painfully awkward dance scene with the dwarf. Ugh. She even kisses just like Bella. Kristen Stewart has mastered the “please have sex with me because I need it so bad” face, and that’s about it. And, I’m sad to say, if you pull her out of the movie, and replace her with any other actress, it’s the exact same movie. It wouldn’t suffer by her absence, which is never a good thing. The two other actresses that I think would’ve worked better in this role and possibly elevated it are Evan Rachel Wood and Rachel Hurd-Wood. I’d buy either one of those women both as Snow White and as a rival to Charlize Theron. Also, about 30 minutes into the movie I noticed something very odd….Snow White doesn’t really say anything. She has minimal lines and maximum face emoting. She gives this big speech at the end that is nonsensical. More on that later. But I never have any idea what the character is feeling.
-The Queen’s brother. Other than the hint at incest, he could’ve been anybody really. There wasn’t anything special about him being her brother; he could’ve easily been just her personal guard, and it’s the same role.
They unfortunately went the George Lucas Star Wars prequel route; we’re supposed to believe a bunch of things just because the movie says so.
-Holy cow, little to no backstory on the Evil Queen. We get that she’s a succubus, then we find that she’s a Black Widow as well…but we never really get to see how she got to be that way, other than that brief scene where her mother gives her the three drops of blood beauty incantation. This movie should’ve taken a page from the movie Black Widow starring Theresa Russell, and let us see Ravenna killing a few husbands, not just Snow White’s dad only. That would’ve fleshed the Queen out better as a character and made us care more about her motivation. Also, we don’t find out until the very last scene that the Queen’s been gathering her powers through her journeys…but how? How did she get them, and what’s the extent of them? It’s very hard to size up the villain if you don’t know if they’re demonic, or enchanted, or using potions, or what. It was just way blurry.
And, in a few scenes, she was just too over the top, and her performance unfortunately moved into parody. And, they gave her that great milk bath visual….and didn’t do anything with it. They show that the mirror is probably just her own psychosis manifesting…and then don’t do anything with it. And correct me if I’m wrong, but did this: ever actually happen in the movie, or was that just in the trailer??
-But the biggest kahuna of all, the biggest elephant in the room, is clear: There is, absolutely no explanation whatsoever as to why or how Snow White is who and what the movie claims that she is. There was nothing special about her birth; no prophecy, no enchantment, no bargain with the gods, nothing, yet somehow the movie claims that she is “life itself?” Come ON, man. And then, immediately after saying that line, she can’t rescue the dwarf that’s been shot from death? What? She uses her magic virgin angst powers to make the Troll, who’s made a meal off of plenty of others, just get shy and walk away? How? And, even tho it’s harsh….Kristen Stewart is just not more beautiful, more fair, than Charlize Theron. She’s just younger. That’s all.
The ultimate marks of Mary Sueness are also present; one, that men can take just one look at Snow and fall in love with her, and two, every man, given enough time, will fall in love with her. Once you Mary Sueize a female character, you can’t take her seriously, because she’s now become a caricature. And then, it’s so confusing because you think that William is supposed to be her true love…yet it’s the Huntsman’s kiss that brings her back from the death by poison apple. But he clearly was still grieving his wife; there’s no full indication that they were falling in love. Just maybe a little in like. And the look they give each other at the end of the movie signifies….what, exactly?
And her speech after she rises….makes no sense at all. Like…none. It comes from a place that doesn’t ring true…because Snow White has just been a prisoner and on the run for this whole movie, and now after an unexplained resurrection, she’s speaking about fire in the belly? And they just accept her resurrection, just like that? And then all of a sudden she’s a Joan of Arc-esque warrior? With no training??? And she kills the Queen with relative ease?
There was nothing special about the way she kills the Queen…she just stabs her. The entire movie seems to rest on her pure blood incantation powers, but in the end that has little to do with a knife to the gut. I know that the Queen got stabbed before, and recovered, because only by fairest blood can she be killed and all, but it would’ve made more sense for something magical that Snow White was wielding to spell the end of the Queen instead of just being stabbed. And all the Queen does as she’s dying is just….wither and get old. No explosions, no release of all that youthful energy that she stole(which we know is returned, because we see Greta restored later), no disintegrating castle…nothing. And when the crown is put on Snow’s head in the final coronation scene…it looks like she’s having an orgasm, I swear.
This movie is just painfully inconsistent…..they definitely tied together the original tale & some fantasy elements, but they didn’t knit it together very well…too many gaps in logic to make it flow. It completely threw out & ignored any attempts at all at depth; in short, we as an audience just do not care enough about any of the main characters to give what happens in the movie any real emotional punch, except for the dwarves. They were fleshed out the best.
So in a nutshell: The Evil Queen is this super magic powered bitter misandryistic praying mantis who runs up on the wrong king and family, because somehow, some way, her stepdaughter Snow White is this semi-celestial Goddess resurrectiony warrior Princess who is “The One” and is destined to destroy her….just because the movie says so.
Umm….not so much.
So…..better luck next time with the whole Snow White thing.
And I really wanted to like this movie, too.
Follow me on Twitter
- ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ Review(screenrant.com)
- Snow White and the Huntsman: Movie Review(screencrave.com)
- The awesome terribleness of Snow White and the Huntsman [Movie Review](io9.com)