Snow White and the Huntsman isn’t really a twist on the old tale as much as it is a recreation of it. The Disney tale is, surprisingly, relatively close to the Brothers Grimm tale in essence: seven dwarfs, poison apple, and a prince kissing her to revive her. This film is a bit different. For instance, this film, as opposed to the seven dwarfs, has eight, and they aren’t the typical Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, Doc, etc. They do share some of those traits though, even if they have names like Beith, Nion, and Gus. There are a few more differences, but I won’t address those here. The main thing is, you need to view this not as a remake or recreation of any previous Snow White story, but as a completely original story due to the number of differences within the story.

Now, the main concern for many was the casting. I know quite a few people were worried about whether Kristen Stewart could handle a role that didn’t require her to look apathetic about a decision regarding werewolves and vampires. Can she convey the emotions necessary to propel the film? Well, the short answer is no. She has a bit of a problem with expressing emotion, which is increasingly difficult to watch as the movie progresses. Luckily, a good portion of the movie is devoted to her looking distressed in an almost apathetic way, so you don’t realize it until it’s incredibly obvious.  For instance, the point in the movie where she is walking through the fairies’ sanctuary, you’d imagine she’d express some form of awe? Nope. Distressed apathy. Depression at the death of a befriended dwarf? Nope. Distressed apathy after a single tear. So the question now is whether or not her wretched acting skill is enough to negate the rest of this movie. The answer to that one is also no. Chris Hemsworth, while firmly imprinted on most people’s minds as Thor, manages to do an impressive job as the Hunstman, Charlize Theron does magnificently as Queen Ravenna, and  several of the dwarfs were actually some A-list actors, which helped a lot. Toby Jones, Nick Frost, and Ian McShane as the leader of the group really helped move this film along after they were introduced. So I wouldn’t let Stewart’s mediocre expressionism prevent you from seeing this otherwise relatively star studded movie. Plus, there is a surprisingly small amount of screen time for Snow White in this movie. She doesn’t have many lines, and when she does, she’s supposed to look distressed. So the writers kind of knew how to work around her shortcomings.

I won’t compare the plot and story line of this film to the Disney version or the Brothers Grimm version seeing as I haven’t seen/read either of them in long enough to. That may work out to this film’s advantage though, seeing as a connection to either of those would automatically make me dislike any differences between this film and the aforementioned versions. Luckily, I get to review this as its own plot and not a comparison. The giant conflict throughout the whole movie was Queen Ravenna trying to get Snow White’s heart to keep herself from looking like a meth addict. See, she feeds off young people’s beauty and… I dunno, the cuteness of kittens or something? Anyway, that’s the reason that Snow White is on the run the entire movie, so the pacing, while slow at times, always makes sense. At 2 hours and 7 minutes, it definitely feels every minute of it. That’s not really a good thing. At some point, if a movie isn’t fantastic the length becomes extremely noticeable, and this is a perfect example of that. While at places it seems to be moving along pretty quickly, it eventually begins to drag and finally you just start wondering why it has lasted as long as it has. This is partially due to the relatively little amount of dialogue compared to the immense time spent on fight/chase scenes. So while the film feels long, it’s not really filled with content.

Luckily what it lacks in content, it makes up for in visuals. The Dark Forest is gloomy with an overbearing sense of dread, and when it comes alive, it looks incredible. They managed to do it in a way that didn’t look too animated as well, so while it is obviously not realistic, it looks as though it’s natural. The Fairy Sanctuary looked slightly more cartoony, but not because it’s any less natural than the Dark Forest, just because it’s a Fairy Sanctuary. Fairy dust flies through the air, everything comes to life, and it’s an almost awe inspiring scene (which can be seen through Snow White’s distressed apathy…). Overall, throughout the film, the visuals are either stunning or incredibly fitting, so there’s a silver lining to an otherwise iffy movie.

I will still recommend this movie due to both the visuals and the acting prowess of everyone besides Stewart. Of course, I wouldn’t be so quick to recommend it at full price. If you can manage to watch it as a matinee, do it! If not, you should either really love Snow White, or one of the actors, to see it. At 2 hours and 7 minutes it does seem really long, so keep that in mind when deciding whether to see it or not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s enjoyable, but therein lies the problem. It’s only enjoyable. I wouldn’t classify it as great or a must watch. Go watch it if someone else pays for it, or you can manage a matinee price!

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  1. […] Snow White and the Huntsman Review […]

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