11 June 2012

Snow White & the Huntsman review (spoiler free)

I can say with a straight face that I thought this movie was better than Prometheus. I am quite happy that this movie also lived up to the hype and expectations I had from first watching the rocking trailer a couple of months ago. This is a solid movie, I came out with zero disappointment or anything that I could really nitpick at. That is quite rare. Was it a perfect movie that had me run out of the cinema and high five random strangers? No, but it was still a  pretty good movie that did everything right.

While talking about the trailer, the movie suffered a bit from what Prometheus did in that the trailer revealed quite a lot of the movie. Though it did not spoil the movie to the same extent because most of us already know the story of Snow White.

The movie itself is a darker and a bit more action packed take on the Snow White fairy tale, it's not even close to the Disney version except for the rough framework and concept of Snow White and the evil queen.  It is also way better than the "Snow White a tale of terror" from the late 90's starring Sigourney Weaver as the queen, which I saw earlier during the week and which I think is the closest thing you could compare it to. Snow White & the Huntsman is not an action movie, it tells the familiar story of Snow White and adds action and battle scenes where it fits. No random sword fighting or Snow White going Joan of Arc 5 minutes into the movie which the trailer may suggest.

The story is familiar but is still made interesting by additional plot points, a nice slew of backstory for the huntsman and the queen. Of course you know how it ends, but it is still a very interesting watch.

The environments  look damn good, everything from the castle, to the decaying landscape, foggy forests, villages that are falling apart and great landscapes - the movie features a bunch of great looking locations. You don't need 3D to appreciate how good everything looks. There are quite a few phenomenal environmental effects and locations in this movie which you can appreciate just based on the aesthetic value that they add to the movie.

As far as the acting go, Charlize Theron is great as the queen - her character is very unbalanced and borders on psychopath in some scenes when she rages. The queen is played with a cool and menacing style that Theron handles well. It also reminds you how good an actress Theron is. Over the past two weeks I've seen her in Young Adult (recommend watching this gem of a indie movie) where she was great in a comedic/depressing role, in Prometheus as a calculating and cold corporate manager and now as the crazy queen. I really liked the way the story handled the queen, she has a background, she has a logical reason for wanting to kill Snow White and she is made a fully fledged out character when you learn more about her past. It's not a 2D villain.

Cris Hemsworth as the drunken huntsmen was also good, the accent was a bit distracting but this character too had his own background and motivation. He was not only a tool and 2D character like in the Disney version.

Snow White, played by Kristen Stewart. I'm not a fan of Kristen Stewart, she has a look that annoys me in this movie she reminded me of another (older) actress whose name I have forgotten. I think that the brainddead role Stewart has been playing in the Twilight movies may have turned lots of people against her. I don't watch that tween drivel but in other movies Stewart has always come off as a rather stone faced actress. A bit like Josh Hartnett who can only do one facial expression. She does a pretty decent job in this movie, and at least tries hard enough to make herself work and become a believable character. The longer the movie went on the more I thought she fit the role. She's not very attractive, rather common looking, and the movie actually addresses this fact very early on so that the audience know the difference of beauty between her and Theron's radiating queen.  She ends up doing a good job as the title character.

And of course, the dwarves!
Oh my god, scene stealing little bastards! The movie really has a great ensemble of famous and skilled actors playing the dwarves. I loved Ian McShane as the dwarf leader haha, with his shifty and world weary look. I also loved that the dwarves were a bunch of unwashed and somewhat violent fellows. It's too bad that they aren't in the movie more. Every scene with the dwarves is great, and they are mainly used to tell the story of the world and past events as well as being (good) comic relief. There is one scene that you can see in the trailer when Snow White and the crew enter some kind of glade of "super good/kindness" with small animals all over the place, butterflies, rainbow and the elves playing. The dwarves react in a very funny way, basically going "wtf is this crap, put plugs in your ears" LOL! They also get a couple of action scenes, and really leave you wanting more when the movie is over. The dwarf effects and makeup was very well done.

And speaking of effects there were quite a lot of good stuff in this movie. My favorite effects were probably the work done on Theron to have her alter appearance throughout the movie - it was very well done with makeup and effects to make her go from looking old to going young and back to old again. There are also some nice battle scenes that add a climactic beginning and end to the movie.

Complaints? None really, the only stuff I could come up with is that the pacing was a bit brisk at times. The queen had a backstory segment that I think would have fit better at the very beginning of the movie rather than being handled in a flashback. I wanted to see more of the dwarves, of course. And it would have been nice with more awesome andrenaline pumping music like in the trailer. It also includes a couple of scenes that resemble iconic scenes from other (very famous movies), I won't mention which scenes and which movies since my friend did not think about it and it would just be distracting trying to look for those scenes. It's nothing that makes the movie any worse.

Final thoughts it's a very good movie, great locations and good acting. Well told story and interesting background to the characters such as the queen. I do recommend it. I would rate it at 8/10

In a couple of weeks I hope to watch both the new Batman movie and Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter. Oddly enough I'm starting to be more hyped for the Abe Lincoln movie than I am for Batman. Latest trailer that I saw today did not look all that exciting. Christopher Nolan has yet to make a bad or disappointing movie though, so I trust that I will be positively surprised.

Also, this movie had me create a new category, "Movie reviews", this will be the home of movies that don't belong in either the "Horror movies" or "War movies" review section as I want those two to remain themed instead of merging everything into one single general movie category.

5 comments:

  1. I'll wait for the DVD release, thanks for the heads up though!

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  2. I'm waiting for the DVD as well, hope there is a special extended edition with more dwarf scenes in it LOL!

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  3. Good to hear. I guardedly agreed to let the wife see it as she likes any movie with swordfights :-/

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  4. Suprisingly good movie, dwarves are absolutely great, I agree here. And of course Theron, with her cloak of feathers ;)

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  5. 8/10? I'm in! Thanks for the review mate!

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