Movie Reviews: Snow White and the Huntsman




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     Universal (2 hr 27 min)
     In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.
     Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron
Bottom Line:

Jonathan McMillan

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"

If that question were applied to recent adaptations of the classic Snow White fairytale, the reflecting glass would undoubtedly respond, "The latest is the greatest.”

“Snow White & The Huntsman” finds its teeth in remembering that the source material wasn't originally meant for children – rather it was a 19th century horror story. First time director Rupert Sanders artfully translates the classic for modern audiences using skilled actors, elaborate wardrobes, set dressings, realistic CGI, and absolutely remarkable cinematography to tell an intriguing, spellbinding story.

The plot remains loyal to the classic, with a few minor revisions – which adds depth to the characters that elevates the picture to a level that few films achieve.

Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Kristen Stewart (The Twilight franchise) escape the typecasting of gods and vampires with remarkable and impressive performances.

Charlize Theron 
dominates the screen embodying evil as she did in “Monster” as Ravenna, the evil queen/step-mother/witch. Assisting Theron in radiating that evil are the details in every costume and prop that’s punctuated by demonic etchings of her raven flocked throne and skeletal jewelry.

The special effects team does a fantastic job in aging and de-aging the queen, and putting the DARK in the "Dark Forest" with CGI to rendering subtle menacing foliage to incredibly scary creatures. But as with the Benjamin Button-esque special-effects performed on Theron, the CGI transformation of average height actors (some fairly well known) into fierce warrior dwarves – less like the comedic Disney interpretation, but more like the marauders (of smaller stature) in the Capital One credit card commercials.

One small complaint: the scene where Snow White discovers her destiny, computer generated images, while still incredibly impressive, are so cute that they (maybe intentionally) conjure up comparisons to the animated classic which detracts from the individuality and originality established earlier.

Ultimately, that little quirk fails to significantly slow this exhilarating action/fantasy/horror movie. Be advised, with violence and adult themes, far more graphic than expected – this is not a children's film. This movie is appropriately rated PG-13, for it is that mature audience that will thoroughly enjoy this mature film.



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