Snow White and the Huntsman
For the second time in this summer season of movies, the story of Snow White is being brought to the big screen in a live action movie. Earlier this summer we were given a more comedic version of the story in the movie Mirror Mirror. This time around, the famous story is being told in a darker and much more serious version of the story in Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman. I am letting you know right now that live action fairy tale films is going to be trend that isn’t going to go away until it is exhausted like re-makes have become. Last year we were treated to the abysmal Red Riding Hood and with two Snow White films seeing the light of day of day this summer I am sure that we can look forward to future summer blockbusters like Cinderella and The Three Little Pigs. Think I’m joking?? All I can say is wait. Never the less, making live action films to classic fairy tale stories is not necessarily a bad thing as long as it is done well and this one came pretty close to getting it right.
The Evil Queen (Theron) is told by her mirror (Obi) that she is not the fairest in the land and that her step daughter, Snow White (Stewart) has her beat. Unable to tolerate this, the Evil Queen sends a Huntsman (Hemsworth) to kill Snow White and blah blah blah blah. No folks, this is not me getting lazy. I just don’t see the point in rehashing this plot synopsis when I truly feel that if you don’t already know what this story is about you should probably go read another review. To sum it up, there are dwarfs, a poison apple, a kiss and good conquers evil. Again, if you consider these things to be spoilers, I just cannot help you.
Okay, all that being said, this film almost had a home run with me. This darker and more serious take on the classic story was very enjoyable from an adult standpoint. I really like the idea of taking a story that has been softened for children over the years and daring to tell it for an adult audience. All of the same elements that you would expect to be in a Snow White story remain intact while adding an edge and the seriousness required to please older movie goers. The beautiful Charlize Theron has proven herself in past films by stepping out of her pretty exterior and showing you the talent she possess on the inside. This film is no exception as she makes you hate her as the Evil Queen in a performance that almost seems too real and earns my standout performance in this one. Hemsworth is truly not written too many scenes where he gets the opportunity to show off his acting chops but he does have one towards the end and he nails it. Aside from that he is mostly called on to play the brutish hero and as we have seen in another little film that was released this summer, he can do that pretty well. Sadly, the film hits a major downward spiral in the casting of Kristen Stewart as the title character. Her empty and emotionally void performance along with whatever physical defect she has that never, under almost any circumstances, will allow her to close her mouth and stop exposing those two front buck teeth seriously hurt what is almost a wonderful film. Clearly, Universal cared more about attracting the Twilight audience than they did actual acting talent when making this casting choice. That very poor casting decision aside, this film does a good job achieving what it set out to do. Parents considering bringing children: Please remember that this is a PG-13 film for a reason. It is not scary or sexually explicit but it is very very violent and geared for a mature audience. Some kids will enjoy it and some will be bored but either way I think there may be more appropriate choices for family movie day. As for everyone else, if you can look past Stewarts slack jaw gawking and atrocious performance, Snow White and the Huntsman will hold your interest until the very end.