Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?”
Once again the story that has captivated millions throughout the world returns to the big screen with a prequel and sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. At the end of the first film, the evil mirror-obsessed queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) is defeated by Snow White (Kirsten Stewart) and Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth). The second film begins with the revelation that Ravenna has a sister named Freya (Emily Blunt), who was completely normal until she made the mistake of falling in love and getting pregnant, which endangered the sinister plans of Ravenna. Under unknown circumstances Freya loses the love of her life and her baby, causing so much pain and suffering , she becomes the sad and lonely Snow Queen , leaving her sister to conquer kingdoms on her own .
The Huntsman is related to Ravenna, not only because of Snow White, but because he and his wife Sara (Jessica Chastain) were raised and trained in the kingdom ruled by Snow Queen Freya who, as a survivor of unthinkable heartbreak, has one big rule all her “children” must obey: Do not love. Ever.
Long story short, Freya’s reign threatens Snow White’s kingdom and it’s up to Eric, Sara, and their companions to stop her. And although her role is smaller here than in the original film, Queen Ravenna returns to both aid and manipulate her youngster sister Freya.
There might not be Seven Dwarves this time around, but the four this sequel does include are hilarious and offer some of the cleverest comebacks I have heard in a long time. Nick Frost’s Nion is the only dwarf from the original to return, and he’s joined by his brother Gryff (Rob Brydon) and two females, Mrs. Bromwyn (Sheridan Smith) and Doreena (Alexandra Roache).
I can say that I really liked this film, and as a Charlize Theron fan I most enjoy her work especially as an evil, selfish witch obsessed with eternal beauty. And of course having Chris Hemsworth in the screen is always a delight for our eyes. The special effects are not distracting at all; they’re actually the complete opposite. The quality is outstanding which makes it easier to be transported to a magical world filled with fairies and enchantments.
Although I have to say it is not as family-friendly as the fairy tale inspired film, it is definitely funny, including a lot of action and fight scenes with a story line that entertains the audience.
3.5 of 5
Second Review By Sasha Glenn
Based on characters from the fairy tale “Snow White,” the film “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” tells the story of the sorceress Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and her sister Freya (Emily Blunt). The film is sort of a sequel to the 2012 “Snow White and the Huntsman.”
It starts out strong, with the first scene showing some of Ravenna’s wicked magic when she kills her King and rises to power. Driven by her hypnotic relationship with the mirror, Ravenna betrays her sister Freya and unleashes a new evil on the land.
Freya creates her own kingdom of ice and builds an army made up of children she forces to grow into soldiers.
At first it seems like the film is going to be epic. But rather suddenly, the directorial decisions take a turn for the worst. It becomes disappointingly cheesy and glaringly shallow in plot.
When the child soldiers are training and suddenly change into adults, the way the scene is shot comes off as laughable. There on out, it is far from impressive and feels like a made-for-TV film.
Granted, it is an enjoyable adventure to watch. It has plenty of funny moments, a lovely cast, and some beautiful graphics. But, even the graphics sink to subpar levels. Particularly in one scene with demonic ape-like creatures that look like they are from a film made in the 90’s.
With a solid story to build from and such a quality cast, it’s as if director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan went into his tool shed and purposely dulled every knife he had. Even Theron’s performance, which was sadly sparse, was nothing special. Perhaps this was simply because the film failed overall at rising to what it could have been by staying tame enough for children.
A cute attempt at making an epic film, I give “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” 1.5 out of 5 stars.