The Huntsman: Winter’s War Review

Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron

The Overview

As two evil sisters prepare to conquer the land, two renegades, Eric the Huntsman, who previously aided Snow White in defeating Ravenna, and his forbidden lover, Sara, set out to stop them. (Source: IMDB)

The Good

I wasn’t a big fan of 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, largely due to Kristen Stewart’s lacklustre performance as the eponymous heroine, however, with a trailer that showed some promise, and being very much sans Stewart, I was quite hopeful about this sequel. Sadly this hope soon fizzled out within the opening 20 minutes of this film, but let’s look at the good points first.

So it is worth knowing, and not really much of a spoiler, that the trailer very cleverly uses the only good bits of the film, splicing them together in order to present a preview which looks like it will be a good indication of how the film will be. Indeed the majority of the footage used in the trailer occurs in the opening and closing 15 minutes of the film.

The opening was decent, providing a good background not only to the story of this film, but acting as an excellent precursor to Snow White and the Huntsman. It went off the rails for the 90 minutes in the middle, but the final 15 minutes was decent also. There’s some great visual stuff, sadly most of which is seen in the trailer, but having dosed off in the middle, the ending woke me up and was actually pretty enjoyable.

Once again, the trailer might lead you to believe that Ravenna (Theron) is a major part of this movie, and indeed her scenes are the highlights, but enjoy them whilst you can, and make of that statement what you will! Charlize Theron is delightfully wicked as the Evil Queen, beautifully terrifying, and completely commanding of every scene she is in. The new additions to the cast in the form of Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt are fine, but you really would expect more from such a great cast. That being said, they’re a thousand times better than the woeful Kristen Stewart, so there’s that.

The Bad

So this film really isn’t very good, if my desperate attempts at finding good points above, hadn’t made this very clear! Whilst the beginning and end were good, sadly there was 90 minutes of drudgery in the middle, and boy was it tedious.

It’s slow, plodding, dull, and what little plot there is to speak of simply is not enough to make this a watchable film. Everything just feels laborious; any attempts at comic relief fail, the accents are ropey throughout, and there’s an incredibly out of place scene involving some dwarves trading expletives that still baffles me.

Whilst Hemsworth’s performance in Snow White and the Huntsman was positively Oscar-worthy in comparison to the charisma vacuum that is Kristen Stewart, he fails to make any impact in this film whatsoever. He tries his best, but the script is terrible and the delivery is awful. On paper this cast should work, but there really is nothing here which gives them the opportunity to stand out.

There are a handful of decent action scenes, or at least they could have been decent had the overuse of CGI not entirely spoilt them. I understand it is fantasy, and certain scenes did require CGI, but it just looked naff in places and was massively overdone. Devoid of all realism, charm and enjoyment, there is very little to find in this film that makes it worth watching.

The Verdict

I saw this movie so you don’t have to. Honestly, don’t bother with this one! I was bored within 30 minutes, and whilst there are a couple of redeeming features, it is not enough to save this film. The payoff is totally unsatisfying and unfortunately it looks like it is open for a follow-up. It is a tedious, tenuous, pointless and entirely unnecessary sequel, which fails to impress on every level. Give this one a miss.

Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a terribly misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Please let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share as well.

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