The Huntsman: Winter’��s War Movie Review

Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron.
Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron.

THE fact that The Huntsman is a prequel/origin story and sequel all in one is a raging red flag as to how confused and messy it is.

From the structure to the tone and characters and their relationships, there is not a whole lot that meshes with the other elements in this serious – with jokey moments – fairytale.

We learn how Eric (Chris Hemsworth) came to be The Huntsman, being raised and trained by the devastated and heartbroken Ice Queen Freya (Emily Blunt) to be a member of her vast army.

Love is outlawed, so when Eric and his warrior girlfriend Sara (Jessica Chastain) are caught getting their smooch on, the queen turns them against one another and separates them.

In the meantime, the events of Snow White and The Huntsman take place when the hero vanquishes Freya’s evil sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and pick up several years later when Eric and Sara, now a changed woman, are reunited and embark on a quest for a magical mirror with four feisty dwarves in tow.

In its attempt to appeal to all age demographics, The Huntsman fails to capture a tone that works as it swings uncomfortably from adult themes and dialogue to slapstick and silly gags while trying to maintain the awe of magic.

There are glimmers of an intriguing story and conflict, with the queen’s attempts to breed out love, and the set-up in the first half-hour promises a cracking adventure, but it soon loses its way.

The script lacks spark as it basically offers a handful of the world’s most famous and talented actors an opportunity to trek around the woods or stand statuesque delivering evil lines.

Some fun can still be had with this unfocused film; the adult banter between the bickering dwarves is certainly a highlight and Theron is an evil delight, her limited screen time leaves us wanting more, and Chastain is terrific in a rare physical role.

THE ESSENTIALS

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (M)

Directed by: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron

Three stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas now