Quick Hit: A movie that starts strong, but loses the threads of what could have been a very interesting story.
As I sat and watched the credits role, I found myself very disappointed and in a very different mood from when the film began. I thought the the first… third of the film was very interesting. It’s fun to see a backstory to the evil queen, much like a show like Once Upon a Time has done for its interpretation of the evil queen.
The movie is what I would say is the first of the dark, gritty Disney reboots we have seen (though this wasn’t a Disney film- it was Universal). Giving a more violent take and asking questions about one of the most famous fairy tales was a fun way to do things. Since this came out around the same time as the more humorous Mirror Mirror, I think that was a good way to go. The scene with the mirror (once you figure out it’s not a shield that is) is sufficiently creepy and powerful. It’s reminiscent of death in a multitude of movies, not the least of which would be A Christmas Carol, where it appears as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The metallic ooze is also oddly similar to Terminator.
And oh my… Charlize Theron. Wow. I can’t tell how much her performance was hammed – it’s that intense. She is so loud and captivating every time she takes the screen. There is, admittedly, plenty of questions about her (some of which I’ll get to later), but you can’t help but want to see more of her, despite the fact that she spends most of her screen time yelling, crying, sucking youth essence like some weird Dementor, or eating bird hearts (for some unexplained reason).
My main problems with this film… well, there’s a lot. Let’s start with this: why ask and present so many interesting ideas and then just leave them to float into the breeze. Why doesn’t the Queen just kill Snow White? When did Snow White learn the Lord’s prayer? Why do the Queen and her brother have a strange incestuous relationship? Why do some people have accents and some people don’t? Why doesn’t Snow use her magical animal control powers to wipe out the Queen and her glass army? Why is CGI used when real dwarf actors could have been used? How did you get the dwarf scenes from the LOTR series without rights issues?
Ok, so admittedly, a few of those questions are slightly tongue in cheek. But, I think I have a valid point on several of them. The movie is predictable, and that’s ok because we are talking about a story that is one that we know from many, many, many tellings. But if you have a chance to make it fresh, stick with it! Your audience will thank you for it. Keep in mind that we aren't stupid as an audience. We know when you are reusing fantasy tropes from other movies (like the helicopter filming up a mountain). Also, if you want to see a much better scene of dwarfs singing, check this out. Probably one of the best things to come out of the entire Hobbit trilogy.
I had a hard time seeing Thor swing an axe instead of a hammer, and I had a hard time with Kristen Stewart at all in this movie. She is just ok in this film. I think there are films she has excelled (like Panic Room, an underrated great), but at lot of the time she seems to float through her big budget roles. Maybe she seems to excel more when the spotlight is off her because it is just more comfortable.
Sorry, I know this review was all over the place. Here are some fun movie memes to take your mind off of it.
I give Snow White and the Huntsman a “C-“ and that is mostly because, for the most part, the CGI was good (if at times unnecessary) and Charlize Theron is thoroughly entertaining.
Check out IMDB for more on this film.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"