This movie feels like someone brought “Magic: the Gathering” card illustrations to life on the big screen. I have seen several adaptations of Snow White. This one allows the actors to show their skills. It also gives us a lot of fun action scenes and some really smooth CGI that make for a truly fantastic experience.
Snow White, played by Kirsten Stewart, is born to a kindly king and queen. After her mother passes away her father meets and marries a sultry captive of the dark army named Ravenna, played by Charlize Theron. On their wedding night she kills the king and usurps the throne and imprisons Snow White. It turns out she uses dark magic to drain the youth and beauty of others to remain young and immortal. After Snow White makes a daring escape to the dark forest, Ravenna summons Eric the Huntsman, played by Chris Hemsworth, to dispatch her. Will the Huntsman carry out his orders for his own purposes?
The acting is pretty damn good in this movie. Kirsten Stewart gives a pretty decent performance and she shows some range as well as some action, which is pretty different for her. It’s nice to see her expanding her repertoire a bit. Chris Hemsworth does a fine job. For the most part he seems to channel a lot of the “Thor” character. He has given this role a drunken sorrowful twist so there is still something to distinguish the two. The dwarves are a lot of fun. Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, and Ian McShane, to name a few are the dwarves and each has their own very unique personalities. They are a charming addition to the movie.
The character that stole the show was Charlize Theron as the evil Queen. She does an amazing job walking the fine bi-polar line where she can stare into your soul with a cold, steely, menace then in the next minute loose her mind and fly off the handle into a Nicolas Cage-style screaming match. When she consults her magic mirror (which takes the form of the T-1000 turning into the Shroud of Death) we get a glimpse of her madness as we realize that she is not talking to anyone at all. She is a very well played villain and Charlize was chilling sometimes in the roll.
The action was very fun and well shot. Several battle scenes take place in different parts of the film and each time there is a good sense of menace. At times there are CGI creatures in the battle, but since the CGI is really well done it makes it look amazing. A great example is when Snow White’s army fights golems of broken glass. Despite the amount of CGI the movie still felt kinetic with the big battle scenes and the cavalries charging through a hail of arrows and catapults.
The design to this movie is amazing. Everything from the costumes to the creatures are very fine tuned and give the audience an amazing look into the fantastic realm these people are supposed to be traveling. The turtle with vegetation on its back and the troll were some of the most memorable CGI creations to me. It reminded me of what it was like to watch “The Princess Bride” when I was a kid and to see things of fantasy put on screen in a fun, and cool way.
“Snow White and the Huntsman” really surprised me with how much I liked it. While it is probably not going to win Oscars for its acting, the design certainly deserves a nod. There is a lot going for this movie. If you are a fantasy fan or someone that wants to see a surprisingly decent movie this summer, then this is certainly a good pick.