Quick Hit: A movie that improves on its predecessor, but only barely.
Snow White and The Huntsman somehow made enough money, despite being middling, in order to make this sequel. But, they decided that Kristen Stewart, and Snow White, no longer needed to be in it. So, in order to further capitalize on its stars, they recruited more stars. They kept Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, and somehow attracted Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain to the project. The star power alone raises eyebrows, because there are some tremendous actors and some Oscars in that group.
That’s the best thing about the movie: it has some older Hollywood feel to it - If you take a movie, no matter how dull, and dress up Hollywood’s biggest stars in fancy costumes and surround them with effects, people will inevitably see it. I think that the box office proved this theory wrong for our current generation, as this 115 million dollar movie only made back about 48 million.
It’s not hard to see why. Despite the fact that this movie skirts better than the first film, there isn’t much in the film to recommend it. The plot is borrowed from other more successful films – as are several death fake-outs and plot “twists”. Let me do a brief summary of the plot, and we’ll see if you can find some similarities.
In an odd combination of prequel and sequel, we first see the forging of the evil Ice Queen Freya (Emily Blunt) after she begins to not believe in love. Her sister is Ravenna (Charlize Theron) from the first movie. After she finally discovers her icy powers, she retreats away and forges her own kingdom made of ice. Along with this, she creates an army. Of this army of Huntsmen (why they are called that, I’ll let you guess), are Eric (Hemsworth) and Sara (Chastain). Sara is a bow wielding redhead with a Scottish accent. They fall in love, and try to escape. Freya catches them and they are split apart by Sara’s death. Fast forward seven years after the events of Snow White and now the mirror is being sought after by Freya.
As you can see, at least two famous Disney princesses pop up in this sequel, and neither of them is Snow White. The Elsa comparisons are everywhere (Blunt at times does everything except belt out “Let It Go”), and Sara is a stand-in for a more sexualized Merida. I think that is the main problem with this film: there is some originality within it, but it’s buried deep. Even when people are killed, you know immediately what’s going to happen because it has been so slammed into your face via dialogue.
However, this movie does feature Blunt and Theron both camping it up gloriously. It features some very funny comedic delivery by Hemsworth, as well as his dwarf companions. Some of the actions scenes, though a bit overly stylized to the point they seem a different movie, are entertaining. It was like the new director looked at everything that was enjoyable with the previous film and decided to continue forward with those specific things.
However, when I think of this film, I will continually think of a missed mark. There is an underlying darkness to this film that is only hinted at (mainly because of the movie’s PG-13 rating), but you continually find yourself wishing for more of the darker fairytale world that is lurking at the corners of the camera.
I’m going to give The Huntsman a “C+”.
For more on this film check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"