Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review of Snow White and the Huntsman

I am interrupting my normal blog schedule... mainly because I have been in 8 states over the last two weeks and cannot get it together! So, instead of taking about writing, lets talk about movies!

Since I have been so open in my belief that Chris Hemsworth is Dreamy Man #1, I’m sure it is no surprise that I rushed to the theater opening weekend to experience him and all of his splendor (and abs) in Snow White and the Huntsman.

You all know the story of Snow White and the youth-obsessed evil queen that sought her out. This film has brought that story to life, capitalizing on all of the macabre and sophisticated story elements that have been so deemphasized in all of the children’s story retellings. Though there were several things I liked about the film, its art direction is tops. This movie is visually stunning!

Speaking of stunning, let us hear it for Charlize Theron, who brought the age-old evil queen to life with vigor, glamour, and, surprisingly, sympathy. The queen’s character is built flawlessly, so as her wicked antics continue, you may not approve, but you can almost understand.

However, it seems like the writers put all of their characterization eggs in one basket. Though brilliant, and oh-so-dreamy, Chris Hemsworth is left with a bit of a caricature in the huntsman—the soul in turmoil and in man in his cups following the murder of his wife. He brings it to life, but clearly could have done more had he been given more.

All of this sounding good? It should, because this film was almost good. In fact, Snow White and the Huntsman was almost great. Ultimately, though, one part of the movie knocked it back to “just OK” in my book, and that was the flat, lifeless performance of Kristen Stewart. As the movie started, she just seemed to be wandering around, staring at stuff with her mouth open. I was thinking “come on, I want to see her NOT be Bella Swan, give her a character, let her shine.” Ultimately, the character never came, but as Stewart blundered through her lines, kept that mouth hanging open in a stunned and confused expression throughout the film, and failed to create chemistry with a single one of her co-stars, I realized that perhaps it was wise to avoid giving Snow White a character, since her portrayal was going to be so weak anyway.

If that sounds harsh, it is, but no, not just because I am so very jealous of a woman that has gotten to kiss Chris Hemsworth, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner. Stewart was an excellent Bella Swan, and I actually enjoyed her in Adventureland, but she either phoned this one in, or has determined that an open-mouth stare and bosom-having breath is the key to an Oscar. In fact, to provide an overly flowery metaphor— if Hemsworth, Theron, and others provided performances that could be likened to jeweled, golden goblets of fine wine, Stewart was the red Dixie cup full of Bud Light you pay $2.00 at a kegger.

Otherwise, surprise appearances by Bob Hoskins and Ian McShane, amazing visuals and set design, and a truly phenomenal performance by Theron make this worth seeing. I’m just not sure I would see it in the theater where the gaping mouth just gapes wider.


  1. I had very similar thoughts. I was so stoked for it, and it felt like a rough first draft with so much potential. I am so disappointed I'll never see what this could have been.

    That said, I want the same Director, DP, Production Designer, and Costume Designer to do a movie of The War Master's Daughter! The aesthetics were unbelievable!

  2. Spot on. I loved Charlize Theron, she was mesmerizing. But Bella wasn't strong enough for the part, either in beauty (Snow White is supposed to be prettier than the queen, and it sure is hard to best Charlize) and strength. I did like the spin that Snow White would fall for the Huntsmen, but there was no heat between those two. How can you not drip of heat when around Thor?!?

  3. I saw the movie too, and thought it was visually stunning, and I love Charlize (my friends thought she was over the top) but the plot was just .. ugh..

    Great review!