After a campy but lackluster twist on the Snow White story earlier this year with the Julia Roberts flick Mirror, Mirror, Hollywood strikes back with a more sinister version of the beloved fable, this one called Snow White and the Huntsman. Here, the evil queen Ravenna, played by Charlize Theron, has sent the Hunstman (Chris Hemsworth of Thor) to capture Snow White (Kristen Stewart of The Twilight Saga fame) who has escaped her evil clutches. Her plan backfires when the Hunstman team up with Snow White, along with the help of some dwarfs, in a last ditch effort to dethrone her reign of terror. Is this rewrite worth the trip down storybook lane? Read on!
The Good: The visuals are absolutely stunning. The special effects and cinematography succeed in conjuring up a dark, menacing fantasy world; think Narnia meets Nine Inch Nails/Marilyn Manson music video. Yeah, that’s pretty dark. And Theron takes on the queen role with vicious aplomb. She pulls off the whole “obsessed with eternal beauty” thing so well, it’s truly frightening. Who’d have known Theron would know a thing or two about looking hot!?
The Gay: Chris Hemsworth. Wow. He’s back looking all hunktacular, even though he looks more like a Robin Hood version of Thor. Whatever. At least we see his abs and pecs in one scene. The costumes are glorious as well, with K-Stew and Theron working their respective garb. Fabulous!
The Bad: Hmm, as cool as this movie could’ve been, it falls flat. The pacing was off, and it could’ve used a bit of editing to speed things up. The film also skimps out on character development. Most of the time I was thinking, “What’s the point? Why are people so obsessed with saving this chick?”
The Fugly: Let’s begin with K-Stew’s faux English accent. Sorry, hun, but Madonna pulls off a better Posh Spice lilt than you, and that’s not saying much (Sorry Madge! But I still love you!). Also, Stewart’s portrayal doesn’t stray far from her limited acting chops that she displayed in those vampire films. Writhing in pain? Check! Pouting? Check! Laying on a deathbed looking lifeless but fabulous? Yup, that too. All that was missing were a pack of hunky teen werewolves and sparkly vampires!
Plus, what was up with the queen and her brother? Creepy. It reminded me a little of Angelina Jolie and her brother James Haven’s freaky relationship, minus the Oscar kiss.
And why do all new fantasy movies have to look like Lord of the Rings? Sheesh, I’m sick of it! It even had GGI-enhanced little people! Snow White and the Peter Jackson Clones might have been a smarter title.
Hi-Ho or ho-hum?: Well, if I based things solely on the visuals, Theron’s performance, and the slightly interesting twists on the classic tale, Snow White is worth seeing. Other than that, not much else is compelling enough to recommend it. There’ll be other summer blockbusters coming out that will dwarf this movie so much you’ll forget you even bit into this unappealing apple. A rental, guys.
The Grade: B-