2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman introduced a darker take on the beloved fairy tale. It was, more or less, a decent flick minus the appearance of Kristen Stewart, the inconsistent tone, and the forced humor. However, it managed to make up for it with the beautiful visuals, sets and costumes, and James Newton Howard’s score. Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron were two of the biggest highlights throughout the film. They make their return in the sequel, The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
Originally going to be directed by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) before Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (who worked with the special effects from the previous film) taking his place, this movie suffers from the same problems mentioned above (except for Kristen Stewart, good riddance!). It ends being boring as hell.
Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and Freya (Emily Blunt, at her absolute worse) are two sisters living peacefully in the Enchanted Kingdom. After Freya gives birth to a baby girl, she finds out that she was killed by Andrew’s lover, which pisses her off. She flees to a kingdom up north where she builds an ice palace so she can use her ice powers whenever she pleases and build an army of children.
Two of her best suitors—Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain)—break one of her rules to never fall in love. Years later, as the sisters’ rival continues to rise, they embark on a journey with a group of dwarves in search for the Magic Mirror.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a derivative exercise in fantasy filmmaking. As nice as the movie looks, it feels like an overlong behind-the-scenes look for a Vogue shoot. There are little to no surprises to be found. Hemsworth and Chastain barely have any chemistry together (not to mention their horrendous Scottish accents). The narrative goes all over the place—from fantasy to witty comedy to action and back again—with the dialogue making a perfect lullaby. Not only that, it closely ties with Frozen that it can be qualified as a remake (and an awful one at that). Simply let this one go.