Friday, June 01, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

One of these cast members is on my Most Annoying Celebs list...
"Are there dwarfs in it?" my husband asked.

"What do you mean, are there dwarfs in it? Of course there's dwarfs, it's the Snow White story," I scoffed.

"But it's Snow White and the Huntsman so I figured it was just about those two," he replied.

"No. If you are talking about Snow White at all then there's going to have to be dwarfs. Always."

End of conversation.

(Random side note: Lord of the Rings mastermind J.R.R. Tolkien was responsible for popularizing the alternate spelling "dwarves." These are the useless facts you learn in my line of work.)

So yes, in case you were also wondering, there ARE dwarfs in Snow White and the Huntsman, and they're one of the best things about the film, especially since they're played by the likes of Ian McShane, Nick Frost, and Bob Hoskins, to name three of the seven.

But the crazy visuals and special effects are, by far, THE best things about the movie. They're also responsible for the scene which started to sour my experience, but I'll get to that later. First things first, however: the plot. Yes, it's basically the same Snow White story you've always known, except the Huntsman plays a much greater role and the ending is a little different.

Charlize Theron rocks as the Evil Queen, and the most spectacular scenes involve her using black magic to turn things into, um, other things. Mind-blowing sequences—truly impressive effects work. If you're into that sort of thing, then it's worth seeing on the big screen for those effects alone. Alas, Kristen Stewart had no business being cast as Snow White. I totally flipped out in early 2011 when I learned she'd landed the lead role, and my gut feeling was correct. It's not like she's an awful actress or anything, but she just DOES NOT have the pure, innocent, singing-with-forest-animals vibe that Snow White needs to have. And Chris Hemsworth was fine as The Huntsman, but I felt like he was essentially still playing Thor. 

Is it wrong to root for her?
So what went wrong for me? Over halfway through the film there's a scene that's very effects-heavy, and it just changed the entire tone of the film too sharply for me. It's like SWatH went from being a respectful—though darker—retelling of the Snow White fairy tale to all of a sudden jumping into cheesy Rainbow Brite territory or something. It was really, really bizarre. I also felt like director Rupert Sanders was trying too hard to make the film seem "epic." There were at least three different "single-file line of drastically different-sized people trekking through mountainous landscapes" scenes that smacked of Lord of the Rings wannabe-ness. So what had started out as an enjoyable take on the beloved fairy tale (and believe you me, I'm a huge HUGE fairy tale fan, as I mentioned in my post about Once Upon a Time) deteriorated into a Huh? What? kind of experience by the end.

The bottom line: If you can't get enough of awesome special effects, then you might find this one worth seeing in the theater because it's not like it's a horrible movie overall or anything. But if your money and time are precious to you and/or limited, then I'd wait to rent it. It's worth checking out at some point because of the effects and the mostly good cast. I just wished they'd picked a different Snow White.


Tierney said...

So the only ONLY reason I want to see this is because whatshisface Thor might just be the hottest man ever. But I agree with you--I play Snow White for kids and plays and stuff, and I can't stand KStew and this hardcore representation. It would have been an interesting twist to have a singing twee kind of princess who is forced to lead an army, rather than Emo White.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Kristin Stewart. I'll never take her seriously after the Twilight crap. For my money, Jennifer Goodwin totally ROCKS Snow White.

Bert Hooks

Livia Peterson said...

The reasons I want to see this is because I went to see Mirror Mirror in theaters (it went below my expectations), the actresses are well-known and should do a good job at their portrayal and the action (I love action movies). I just hope this one is better than Mirror Mirror and I am expecting this to be a GREAT movie. We'll see.