Jun 10, 2012

Film Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

Let's Turn This Mutha Out
We've been ruminating on Snow White and the Huntsman for a week, trying to figure out how to accurately express our apathy towards this movie. When we first saw the trailers to Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror, we worried that the film's super-seriousness would be its downfall (Spoiler Alert: it is). The film tells the classic story of  Snow White with a twist, but it does so in a very long, dull way. Since we really don't want to delve too deeply into the strengths and weaknesses of the film, we're just going to share some of our thoughts on the film:

Despite the epically-long runtime, very little happens in terms of character development. From the first ten minutes of the film, everyone is already emotionally in place for the final battle. Charlize Theron's Ravenna is super pissed and heart-hungry, Kristen Stewart's Snow
White is tremulously powerful and pure, and Chris Hemsworth's Huntsman is angry and ready to fight just about anyone (he's also an alcoholic, but that never really changes). All the pieces are in place - the rest is just wheel-spinning

We're very sure that Ravenna's brother is a bad guy, because his haircut is atrocious. His haircut is so bad that his molesty and rapey and murdery actions almost seems justifiable. Okay, not really.

Sexy Milk Bath
There's a lot of obvious sexual imagery in the film. Sex = Evil, basically. Ravenna gets her power through sexual voracity, kills kings by stabbing them in the heart (see: metaphorical rape), and takes baths in white cream. Snow White is untouched and is frightened by sexual advances. Therefore, she is a good person. Ugh.

The film completely lacks any sense of humor, and it really needs some kind of 'wink wink nudge nudge' self-awareness. The only humor comes either from the dwarves (who are groan-inducing and unnecessary) or accidentally bad dialogue. Snow White gives a 'stirring' speech to throngs of warriors, and it's the biggest laugh of the entire movie..

Does the Huntsman have a first name? Is 'Huntsman' his profession or his last name, like Eugene Huntsman?

Sexy Archery
There is a ton of archery in this film, presumably to get the Hunger Games audience. It's probably the only reason that 'Prince Charming'-esque character is even in the film.

There is NOTHING new or exciting about this film. Even the plot is stolen from better movies. Ravenna's quest for a heart, meant to maintain her beauty and keep her powerful forever, is completely stolen from Neil Gaiman's Stardust, both the book and the film. While Charlize Theron is very good in the film, she's really no match for Michelle Pfeiffer, who is practically the same character in Stardust. They both even age when they use magic.

There's a moment, near the end of the film, when Ravenna throws Snow White into something hard and made of stone, and it's awesome.

The film is very clearly trying to evoke Lord of the Rings in its cinematic scope. Long shots of landscapes are beautiful and grandiose, but they don't really lend anything to the story.

"You have eyes, Huntsman, but you do not see," is probably the worst line ever spoken by a blind dwarf in a film.

Milk Bath: Part Deux
One thing the film does well is adapting touchstones from the Disney film. The dark forest which once frightened the warbling Snow White 75 years ago now becomes a dark forest filled with hallucinogenic drugs that cause people trapped inside to create vivid nightmarish dreamscapes. The wooded glen that once housed seven little men now becomes a beautifully lit forest, filled with moss-covered turtles and twinkling fairy lights. The more the film adapts classic moments, the better the film. It's when it tries to create extra drama that it fails.

There really needs to be more Charlize Theron in this film. She's magnificent and underused. Also, she seems like the only person in this film who is having any fun. Everyone else sports pained expressions for the entire film. That's pretty much Kristen Stewart's face all the time, but still.

Film Grade: 6 out of 10 poisoned, fuzzy apples

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