Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Movie Review: Snow White & The Huntsman

Save the money and rent the movie on DVD this fall.
The tagline for Snow White and the Huntsman should be "Never believe the hype." A film that was supposed to be a fantastically dark retelling of the classic Snow White story is a garbled mess of special effects, CGI creatures, and missing storyline. The film leaves the viewer creeped out - and not in a good way - with it's topics of incest and life stealing.

The cast is promising, Charlize Theron is always certain to get people in the seats. Chris Hemsworth is riding high after his turn as Comic Hero Thor, and do I really need to remind you what Kristen Stewart is known for (hint: she was in that vampire/werewolf series of movies). However, "Monster", "Thor" and "Bella" do not make a good casting trio.

Theron, of course, was the big gun during promotion of the film. The Oscar Award winning actress (for her role in "Monster") has the chops to pull off the Evil Queen hell bent on killing the princess - still the rival for the throne and title of "fairest of them all" - but she's limited due to the film's need to have her turn into tar puddles and ravens. If you've seen the previews you've seen the majority of her contribution to the film.

Thor actor, Chris Hemsworth, plays the drunkard huntsman who - of all the characters - is the most fleshed out... but that's not saying much. He is forced to hunt down and bring back Snow White after she escapes the tower the Evil Queen locks her in. We find out that his wife has died and he's lost the will to do or be anything. He is hired for his knowledge of the dark forest (which is not as intimidating as they try to make it out to be), and off they go. Within the first few minutes of meeting his quarry he is talked into changing sides. So much for scary, right?

Kristen Stewart is no rookie to the simple and overhyped films. Her role as Snow White seems similar in most ways to that of Bella from Twilight. She says very little, but is the one everyone is after. Typecast? Maybe a little. Snow White spends most of her time running, feeling guilty, sympathising, and looking stoic. Not your typical Princess. She's supposed to be the heroine of the story, but honestly it's such a jumbled mess I can't tell who really wins - though I do know it was not the audience who claimed a win.

The actors should not be blamed for the flatness of the film, that sits squarely on the storyline. Which, as noted before, there is none. The story does not hold up against the many scene changes which looks to be 85-95% CGI. We meet secondary characters flippantly and never really learn who or what they are. There are scenes that make absolutely no sense, and do not advance the storyline. The graphics are incredible, but the cost seemed to be that the story no longer fit with what they wanted to do in the computer.

My friend and I were left with a very high creep factor and disappointment. We had such high hopes for the film and had been waiting for days to go see the movie, only to be met with a story that went no where. The only entertainment we had for the more than two hours in the theater was our own snarking.

This movie is not family friendly for the darkness and incest (the Evil Queen has a brother who... um... is very creepy... like Dateline Predator creepy), and I was surprised at how many children were in the theater. Like the previews didn't give you enough heads up?!

My advice? Skip the boxoffice and netflix it when it comes out later this summer on DVD. It's not worth the price of admission.

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