Snow White and the Huntsman turns the old fairy tale about the battle between the evil queen and the squeaky clean Snow White into a Lord of the Rings style fantasy adventure.  While this movie commits some of the cardinal sins of the fantasy film, namely bloodless battles filmed in wobble vision, jerky loping cgi monsters and people pontificating in fake British accents, it is still an entertaining addition to the fantasy genre.

Charlize Theron plays the evil queen whose ruthlessness stems not only from the fact that Elton and Rolf refused to play at her jubilee but also because she desperately craves eternal youth and beauty. With plastic surgeons in short supply in the fantasy kingdom, the only way she can stay youthful is to chow down on the heart of the fairest maiden, namely Snow White (Kristen Stewart) the imprisoned daughter of the King Theron bumped off.  Apparently inspired by Joan of Arc, Snow stages an escape and with aid of the titular huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and the seven dwarves, she leads a counter-attack against the Queen.

Kristen Stewart is now apparently the highest paid actress in Hollywood and she goes some way to justifying this with her feisty performance here.  As the sullen, soap-dodging Huntsman, Hemsworth is mostly a charisma-free lump who for some reason speaks in a weird Scottish brogue like Jock from Bikie Wars. He does, however, have some swashbuckling style when he wields his axe in the fight scenes.  Theron is over the top as the villainous queen, she chomps unmercifully on the scenery and tries to crank up the evil by bellowing and giving people the crazy eye.  After her wonderful performance in Young Adult it’s disappointing to see her hamming it up like this.

This film is primarily about big budget eye candy and on that level it succeeds with superb sets and locations including an excellent spooky forest.  It also boasts a terrific line up of British actors as the dwarves including Ian McShane, Ray Winstone and Bob Hoskins, all of whom were altered via CGI to resemble little folk.

It’s far from perfect but still a cut above most recent fantasy adventures and a recommendation for those who get off on movies about princesses and pixies.


Director: Rupert Sanders

Released: 21st June 2012

Running time: 127 mins.

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