SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN: In Desperate Need of Editing
'Rama Rating: 6 out of 10
Let's get this out of the way, first and foremost: there is no world in which Charlize Theron's beauty is threatened by Kristen Stewart's. Despite that insanely flawed premise, this movie had a lot of potential with great special effects, fast-paced action scenes, and the draw of three actors all known for very different roles. While the potential is evident in the finished product, it doesn't quite reach the lofty heights that it could have.
The movie is essentially entertaining. It's the story of Snow White done in a darker, "Grimm" tone; with amped up action, crazy monsters, and an evil queen who is actually evil. This queen has ruled several kingdoms, routinely devours the life from young pretty women, murders, cheats and steals her way to more power and her goal of immortality. Theron deftly plays the evil; she is downright scary at times, but still the most gorgeous thing on the screen, playing both halves of her role perfectly. She is aided by her creepy brother who only remains thanks to her magic abilities — a character who it at first appears complex, but instead becomes increasingly one-note throughout the film.
Against the queen and her creepy brother are surviving members of the kingdom who unite with the just-come-of-age Snow White, the princess and thus rightful ruler. Stewart's Snow isn't without beauty. Her features are played up nicely, and an emphasis is placed on inner beauty and innocence in the storytelling, helping her case. Chris Hemsworth's Huntsman is at times a little too close to Thor, but he plays the charismatic and brash fighter so well you'll tend not to care.
Tending not to care is the problem with this film, though. Aside from the three leads, every other character gets cut so short they scarcely matter on the screen at all. A death toward the end of the second act is meaningless, as you know nothing about the character. The dwarves seem at first to add a humanizing aspect… until you never learn anything about them. A possible second romantic interest for Snow White is brushed aside like he was never in the film at all. It is remarkably difficult to remember any of the characters aside from the three (maybe four, including the brother) principals, and that's a shame. It seems as if whole chunks of the film were cut out that may have offered some development in that regard, in favor of keeping the scenes that are there an extra 30 or 60 seconds too long. The pacing bounces back and forth so much, it makes you picture the editor of the film just blindly chopping cells out of a reel.
Still, the dark tone, extravagant effects and great action make this an entertaining flick. The actors that do get featured do a great job, and the writing is mostly solid, with the exception of a late line and pretty much the entire (again, much much too long) final scene. Snow White and the Huntsman could have been a much better film, and that's a shame for the actors involved who could have made it one.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!