How many high profile Snow White films can Hollywood cram into one year? Thus far two, but I’m waiting to see if there is some stray Bollywood production set soon to debut. Snow White and the Huntsman strikes a different tone from the Julia Roberts starring movie Mirror Mirror. Huntsman is a much darker and a better film overall than Roberts’ spring release. Mirror Mirror had a lighter tone and the costumes were amazing but Huntsman has Charlize Theron which puts it over the top.
Theron lately reengaged her acting career after a three year absence from the silver screen. Last Christmas she was in Young Adult a great film but not the comedy it had been advertised to be (which is one of the reasons I don’t think it found its audience). Then a few weeks ago she debuted in Prometheus, the Alien prequel, where she played an all business businesswoman (okay, she was up for some monkey business). However in Huntsman Theron practically eats the scenery. She’s a little Aileen, her character in Monster, mixed with that girl she once was; a model from South Africa who famously threw a fit while in line at an L.A. bank and ended up with an agent because of it. Theron is beautiful and deadly in her role of Ravenna and her status in Hollywood is only rivaled by Angelina Jolie whose upcoming take on Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent is in danger of looking old hat when it makes it to the theaters.
Hunky Chris Hemsworth is expanding his repertoire from simply being Thor to being the Huntsman in the movie’s title. He surpasses Prince Charming (or Duke Charming as the case appears to be in the film) as the dude who can wake Snow from a sound sleep with a kiss on the lips. If Hemsworth plays his cards right he is destined to be the next Russell Crowe (he even looked like a younger version of Crowe in a few scenes). His brother Liam was recently in The Hunger Games and is currently engaged to Miley Cryus; so theoretically the Hemsworth clan could sport two superstars in the near future.
Kristen Stewart plays Snow White and of the three leads she is the weakest. Unlike others I’m not going to harp about Stewart’s acting skills because I think she is fine in the roles she has been offered. True she chews her lips and if you are aware that she chews her lips every time she starts munching you notice, but the problem with her character is that it was underwritten. We see her captured as a child and then we see her as a young woman in a jail cell; however the audience never sees her learn to ride a horse, fight with a sword, or gain any of the skills necessary to lead an army into battle. I get the whole Joan of Arc tie-in but Joan didn’t spend her formative years locked up with the evil queen’s brother gaping at her hoping for the time he can finally grope. By the way, extra credit goes to the costume/makeup person who gave tow-headed Finn (Sam Spruell as the queen’s brother) the Prince Valiant haircut. For a film that didn’t have a lot of laughs it gave some of us the giggles.
The visuals in Huntsman are amazing and keep the audience wondering what next will appear on the screen. The film marks Rupert Sanders first directing effort and he is already signed to do the sequel. The plot follows a similar story arc as the one told by the Brothers Grimm yet there are differences such Snow leading an army and more dwarfs than the classic seven. In fact the dwarfs in Huntsman are played by some impressive names including Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, and Toby Jones.
I believe with all of the summer flicks out now that Snow White and the Huntsman is probably leaving most first run theaters; however I think the film will play well on DVD or on cable. It isn’t a tale for younger children since there are hallucinogenic episodes which happen in the Dark Forest along with scenes that have overtones of rape and pillage. I recommend Huntsman more as a teen/adult movie that can be enjoyed as something to see with friends or on a date.