Thursday, September 13, 2012

Snow White & The Huntsman movie review.

The movie that went up against Tarsem Singh's Mirror Mirror, challenged the cinematic juggernauts of June, and was the beginning of the current controversy surrounding star Kristen Stewart. Snow White and the Huntsman may be more of an exercise in style over substance, but as a simple action fantasy adventure, it's not bad.

The latest adaptation of the fairy tale features Stewart as Snow White, kept prisoner in a tower for years after the uprising of her manipulative stepmother, the queen (Charlize Theron). Snow White manages to escape into the dark forest, and a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) is ordered to hunt her down and bring her back to the queen. He instead defies her, training the young Snow White, until the two lead a rebellion against the queen's empire.

Look, we have all seen this story a hundred times before, told in many different ways, to the point that we know every turn the plot will take. With all of that in mind, Snow White and the Huntsman still finds this unique darkness in the material. The movie presents itself in a straightforward fashion, not necessarily a bad way to go, it all just depends on execution, and the cast succeed plenty well at that. Kristen Stewart's Snow White finds the right mixture of ferocity and grace. Chris Hemsworth, trading in Thor's hammer for an axe, gives a surprisingly thoughtful performance, one that mixes well with Stewart.

Charlize Theron: Pure, over the top evil... and I love it!
However, it's all really Charlize Theron's show. Her performance as Queen Ravenna is the classic example of an enjoyable, old-school movie villain. She's such an intimidating delight, chewing the scenery and having a blast doing it. And is it just me, or did she seem to channel her Oscar snubbed role in Young Adult a bit? Lastly, the movie is pure eye candy. Rupert Sanders has a keen visual eye, and his sets, costumes, makeup, effects, and photography are all masterful. The sound design is top notch, and composer James Newton Howard finds a seamless balance between bombastic action and restrained elegance.

As always, take my opinion with a grain of salt. Not everyone would share it.

**** / *****

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