What makes you so damn valuable?
This film's premise is only slightly different from the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is the daughter of a well respected and much loved king. After loosing his wife and Snow White's mother, King Magnus (Noah Huntley) comes upon a seemingly innocent woman named Ravenna (Charlize Theron) who turns out to be anything but. After Ravenna takes control of the kingdom, Snow White is forced to call upon the unlikely allies of a drunken huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), a gaggle of shorter-than-expected dwarves (Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, etc), and an old childhood friend turned warrior William (Sam Claflin) to take back her kingdom.
I can still recall the afternoon when the very first picture of Miss Kristen Stewart decked out in her chain mail and plate armor popped up here on MovieWeb. I can also recall the slew of comments from the members here saying, "Oh God, not her" and "Hey look! It's Bella in armor!" Okay, okay those weren't the actual comments, but they're certainly close enough. And not nearly as harsh as some of the ones I read were.
My initial feeling about this film and its take on the classic "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" fairy tale was one of cautious interest. While I was all too aware of the stigma that follows Miss Stewart like a lost dog, the things that kept me interested in this film were the promise of seeing Chris Hemsworth's and Charlize Theron's roles in this reimagined tale. That and a knockout music video and single by the increasingly talented Miss Florence Welch. If you haven't heard of her (which is something I cannot fathom) or heard this song (again, is something I can't fathom seeing as how it was prominent in this movie's credits) stop reading this review, go to YouTube, type "Breath of Life" in the search bar, and listen to that song. After it's done playing click the "Replay" button and listen to it again. Seriously. Do it.
Y'know now that I think about it... I really with MovieWeb would add a section in the review page for "Music" or "Soundtrack". Because in all of the movies I have reviewed so far, each of them has had a marvelous score and other various songs used in advertising. Can we make that happen MovieWeb? At some point please? Maybe even toss another in for "Replayability"? I know, I know that's not a word. Nonetheless there should be sections for those aspects of a movie, since they are very much important.
There were times during this film where the score, done wonderfully by Mr. James Newton Howard, helped amplify what was happening on the screen or drew me back in if I was beginning to fall out of the experience. It was also appropriately silent, or very near to it, during the emotional, visceral, or disturbing moments only to come blasting back with eruptions from the drums. And I would be remiss to forget Miss Welch's amazing song that was placed at the initial credits. Come to think of it... Was I the only one who stayed seated until "Breath of Life" was finished playing? Yes? No? Ah whatever, go listen to the song and then you'll (hopefully) see what I'm talking about.
Now before any of you says "This guy is reviewing that song, not the movie!" don't fret I'm getting back to it. Keep your pants on.
In the weeks leading up to SWatH's release, I had begun to doubt whether or not I really wanted to see it. My money at the time was getting tight and I soon found myself faced with the choice of seeing this film or Ridley Scott's "Prometheus", which I may or may not review. (That movie was a mess, let me tell you.) It wasn't until the night of a local theater's Prometheus Midnight Showing that I ended up seeing SWatH. In the time before Prometheus was set to play, I was wandering the theater's halls when I saw the artwork, telling me that they still had this film at their theater. So I stepped on down and peeked through one of the double door's window, saw it was still playing and me being me I cracked a door open and slipped in. Of course that wasn't the first time I'd seen the movie, but why pass up a free chance to see it again the proper way?
Having finished watching it again, for the very purpose of writing this review, there were a few things that I didn't understand or just plain didn't like about "Snow White and the Huntsman". Namely how Snow White, Huntsman, and company make camp in an area with next to no snow and the next morning have it look like a mild blizzard passed through. Or how one of Queen Ravenna's "advisers" say "they're numbers have swelled" and then show us only four to five (maybe six) dozen armored and mounted knights.
Something else that I noticed, and thought once or twice during this movie, was that before I clicked "Play" I found myself wondering, "Why couldn't they get her Twilight co-star Ashley Greene or Anna Kendrick to play this role?" While neither of them are exactly the biggest actresses out there, I wouldn't have minded seeing either of them in Stewart's armor.
And let's be honest as good as Miss Stewart was in the role, she wasn't great. Not once did I get a Twilight vibe from her performance. Mainly because I have yet to put myself through the torture that is watching one of those movies. But we should try and keep in mind that it was 2008 when the first Twilight movie came out. Four years is quite nothing to bat an eyelash dispassionately at.
Despite those things, this is still one of my favorite movies of this year. It is by no means perfect, but then again what movie really is? Every movie has its flaws whether we choose to acknowledge them or not. Keeping those flaws in mind, I enjoyed this movie and I had fun every time I watched it. I would recommend you see it if only for the performances from Mr. Hemsworth and Ms. Theron. They in themselves are great. In fact, those two performances were the main things that saved this movie from crashing in on itself. The action scenes/battles are entertaining as well. Especially the climax of the film where Huntsman, William, and an assortment of knights fight what I've taken to calling "Obsidian Monsters" in the throne room.
The controversy that has recently sprang up in relation to this movie is something I will not touch upon. If you want to learn about it, you'll have to read elsewhere.
So without any further gilding the lily and with no more adieu, this was a review by tMG. Thank you for reading.