The truth is, this movie was really quite good. It tells the traditional Snow White story with the evil stepmother and the dwarfs and the apple--but it does so in a tone that sets it apart from other versions. First, we have the huntsman as a dominate character with a back story--who ultimately becomes a love interest. Such and awesome concept. But if you're about to write this movie off because you think it's a romance and you don't like romance, don't. More than anything else this is a fantasy, with magic that ranges from enchanting to creepy as hell.
The Good Stuff:
- Kristen Stewart, I owe you half an apology. You were not as terrible in this as I expected. Is she a great actress? No, not by any means. She can't do quiet moments effectively and she can't sell a romance worth dung. But surprisingly, she does anger, passion, fear, and determination very well. Near the end, she gives this "stand up and fight" speech that was tremendously engrossing. I was so happy to see a movie that put a princess in battle armor.
- Chris Hemsworth--I want to have your babies. Or the Huntsman's babies. Or possibly Thor's. I don't know. But please call me. He was perfect in this part. So surly and drunk, but also likeable and sympathetic. I thought he was a bit underused, an I would have liked to see more of him.
- The look of the movie. I liked that it had gross moments and dirty scenes and an overall gritty atmosphere. That offset very well parts such as the fairy forest, which was beautiful. At first, I saw CGI birds and bunnies and started laughing, but as I got into the scene I found myself really taken with it--mushrooms with eyes and turtles covered in moss and pixie things everywhere.
- The dwarfs were awesome. Funny, gruff, and very useful. They add humor without being reduced to dumb comedy relief.
- Evil queens are evil. Do I care about their back stories or why they are evil? No, not really. In the context of a book, yes, but in the context of a movie where time is limited--no. I felt that too much time was given to the queen that could have been better used elsewhere. Though to her credit, she is appropriately frightening.
- William is the most unnecessary character ever. He's Snow's childhood friend, and for awhile I worried he was there for love triangle purposes. He really isn't, thank God, but then what the hell is he doing here? No offense to the actor--I just didn't see a place for him.
Overall, though, I do recommend it. As fairy tale retellings go, this is great. It's deep and twisted, tells a great story, and keeps you entertained with action and emotion. Happy watching!