In 2012, We got 2 live action Snow White films that could not be more completely different.
We had Mirror, Mirror with Julia Roberts & Lily Collins from Director Tarsem Singh,who was probably best known for the Jennifer Lopez SciFi Horror The Cell. We actually thought this was a lot of fun and a lot better than we expected.
We also had Snow White and the Huntsman which could not be more different, this was played as a fantasy film with hardly any humour in it at all, wanting to be the next Lord of the Rings. If anything this film is more known for the behind the scenes relationship of its director Rupert Sanders & Twilight’s leading lady Kristen Stewart.
It is this film and its Huntsman that has got a sequel, entitled The Huntsman: Winters War, yet we are not sure who wanted it?
However, the sequel has added Rob Brydon and Sheridan Smith whose work we like, so we felt that the sequel could offer some laughs. They have joined this film as dwarves, joining Nick Frost, the only returning dwarf from the original, which had included Ray Winstone; Bob Hoskins; Eddie Marsan; Toby Jones & Ian McShane.
Also returning from the original movie are Chris (Thor) Hemsworth, after all he is Eric the Huntsman after all and Charlize (Mad Max: Fury Road) Theron as the evil witch Ravenna. Also returning to tie the film up with the original and explaining Stewart’s absence is a cameo from Sam (The Hunger Games franchise) Clafin as William.
The film adds to the cast, Jessica (Zero Dark Thirty) Chastain as Sara, she plays Eric’s wife, who we know was killed in the original film and Emily (Sicario) Blunt as Ravenna’s sister Freya.
At the start of the film, we see Ravenna kill another man who she has got to fall for her, much like she did with Snow White’s father in the original.
We also first see Freya, who has found love with a Duke (Colin Morgan from BBC’s Merlin TV show) and is pregnant with his child.
After the child is killed with the Duke seen as the killer, the seemingly nice Freya turns and kills him. (Merlin stars should possibly avoid blockbusters following this and Katie McGrath demise in Jurassic World)
Freya leaves Ravenna to take her own kingdom and vows in her rage and due to the betrayal she feels, to stop all finding love, creating an army of all the children taken from the parents killed from all she conquers.
Within this army, are Sara and Eric and we follow them as they grow up, getting closer to each other and eventually finding love behind the back of Freya.
When Eric and Sara plan to escape, their plan is foiled and they are separated by a wall of Ice from Freya. Through the Ice, Eric sees Sara killed and reluctantly runs away.
The film then jumps 7 years into the future, after the events of The Huntsman Film. It is here we learn from Sam Clafin’s character that Snow White has been taken ill, and that Ravenna’s mirror which has been taken must be the connection.
Eric agrees to hunt down the mirror, with the help of dwarves Nion (Frost) & Gryff (Brydon)
On their travels, they come across the slaughter of many of Freya’s attacks and upon finding an Inn looking for infomation, learn that the mirror has been taken by Goblins.
During this stop they are attacked by Freya’s soldiers and saved by a mysterious stranger, who we learn to be Sara. It would appear Eric has been tricked by Freya and she is still very much alive.
Sara, Eric, Nion and Gryff follow the trail to the mirror, adding dwarf love interests for our 2 boys (Eric has Sara after all) are Mrs. Bromwyn (Smith) and Doreena (Alexandra Roach)
On their journey they will face those they left escaping Freya and gold loving Goblins, with the help of the pixies from the original film they eventually will face off against Freya and her sister, Ravenna, who has returned more powerful and evil than ever from within the mirror.
This film is a rare sequel, in my opinion, that offers more than its original offering. The first film was incredibly bland, the all star cast including the big name actors as the dwarves were all very much under used, and apart from a sequence where Eric and Snow White faced a troll, I can’t really thing of anything that happened of note. As stated earlier, it is all so serious, like it thinks its Game of Thrones or something.
This film is a lot better, the humour and over the top acting, in particular from Theron, does make it feel more like a Pantomime than a serious fantasy drama.
Sadly, it is still not a brilliant film, these quest films have been done so many times before and a lot better, from the likes of The Princess Bride and lower budget classics like Hawk the Slayer to the modern day blockbusters like The Chronicles of Narnia or The Hobbit that the film seems to think it is.
Also some of the action sequences are far too CGI heavy, also some of the fight sequences, particularly the one in the Inn, are just too fast and just a blur.
Whilst the dwarves give great entertainment, Eric and Sara show no chemistry at all, although of course this could be because Freya has turned them on each other!
Also Emily Blunt was great but she has too little screen time.
Overall, it’s an improvement but instantly forgettable and a Huntsman 3 would definitely be pushing it!
Did you like the Original Huntsman? Have you seen the sequel? We’d love to hear from you
The Huntsman: Winters War is rated 12a and can be viewin in either 2D or 3D
Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Running time 1 hour 54 minutes
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