At the Movies: Snow White And The Huntsman

A new movie about Snow White? Not interested.

A movie where Snow White teams up with Thor? Now you’ve got my attention.

“Snow White and the Huntsman” is a dark — dare I say grim(m)? — retelling of the classic fairy tale. Director Rupert Sanders brings considerable visual flare to the proceedings, but it’s all so dour. It’s an interesting film but not exactly enjoyable.

Kristen Stewart stars as Snow White, the fair daughter of good King Magnus (Noah Huntley). Some time after her mother’s death, the king finds new love with Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and the two are quickly wed. On the wedding night Magnus learns that his new bride is actually a witch with serious issues. Ravenna slays the king, takes over the kingdom and locks Snow in a tower.

Ravenna’s magic mirror tells her that Snow is so pure and good that if she’d just eat her heart it would make her immortal. But before Ravenna can order up a heart sandwich, Snow escapes her prison and runs off into the dark forest. The dark forest is too dangerous to go into without a guide, so Ravenna enlists the aid of a huntsman named Eric (Chris Hemsworth).

When Eric learns of Ravenna’s true plans, he turns on her men and agrees to escort Snow to safe haven, from whence she can lead a revolution against the queen.

Once again I find my feelings for a movie are decidedly mixed. If you ever wanted the story of Snow White remade as a “Lord of the Rings”-style action-adventure, then here you go. There are a lot of nifty special effects and fantasy elements. I liked this take on the magic mirror. There’s also a good deal of violence and action.

But it’s oh, so serious. The dwarves eventually show up to provide some comic relief, but even they spend most of the film channeling Grumpy.

As to the acting, Hemsworth continues to prove his worth as a leading man in an action flick. Stewart is fine but not really memorable. The real tricky performance is Theron’s. She’s either so over-the-top it’s brilliant or so over-the-top it’s terrible. I’m not sure which, you’ll have to judge for yourself.

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