Movie Review: The Huntsman: Winter's War + Houston Fan Event!

The Huntsman: Winter's War
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Writers: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Craig Mazin
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence and some sensuality
Official Socials: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | IMDb
Hashtag: #TheHuntsman
As two evil sisters prepare to conquer the land; two renegades - Eric the Huntsman - who previously aided Snow White in defeating Ravenna, and his forbidden lover, Sara set out to stop them.

I attended a fan event for The Huntsman Winter's War over the weekend. It was quite the spectacle I thought it would be. I wouldn't have expected any less from the studio that also gave us Maleficent and Snow White and The Huntsman.  After pictures in the lobby, I was handed an armload of promotional merchandise and I walked into the darkened theatre to the tunes of a mid-evil score.  The stage was set. 

After the movie, the audience was treated to a live question and answer session with the stars. Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain and Charlize Theron all appeared via satellite feed from LA. Doesn't it sound amazing? The evening was a lot of fun, but the actual film was the low point. The Huntsman Winter's War was not amazing.  

Let me detail the best parts of the film first. I really enjoyed Emily Blunt as Freya, the Snow Queen. I appreciated her willingness to throw herself into the role. Charlize Theron also did a great job reprising her role as Ravenna, the Evil Queen. I liked the dynamic between both of the queens. Their scenes together were, by far, the best in the film. 

The hand-to-hand combat scenes were a ton of fun. They looked fluid and amazing. Kudos to the fight choreographers.  There was a mixture of weapons and tools which added to the complexity. I looked forward to the fight scenes. 

The costuming was flawless. The queens both wore fantastic dresses.  I could have watched the light reflect off of Freya's gowns for hours. Genuinely mesmerizing. 

Okay. That's it. That was what I liked about The Huntsman Winter's War. What wasn't I crazy about? The story was boring! The whole thing seemed contrived and pointless. And the contrived, pointless story moved at a snail's pace between the combat. 

The timeline leaves much to be desired. I watched Snow White and the Huntsman before this film so I could be prepared. It's both a prequel and a sequel of sorts. Confused yet? I think it was a mistake to include Ravenna in this story. Her inclusion makes this story too complex. The movie starts at a time period before Snow White and the Huntsman. Then, there is a part which takes place during the same time of the first movie and, by the end, we are clearly at a time period after the Snow White and the Huntsman.  And I don't think that any of that was necessary. It's the fantasy that makes this genre of film so appealing. Here, the filmmakers tried to explain too much, losing some of the audience. 

I didn't like Jessica Chastain in the role of Sara. She said in the post-movie interview that she had never done a fantasy film before. I think that came across, to her detriment.  She came off as too rigid and real for the role. Also, Chris Hemsworth seemed to be phoning-in his performance as Eric and his accent. He even seemed to be phoning-in his appearance in the post-movie interview. I know what everyone is thinking. We love Thor. I love Thor, too, but he has to it some effort. 

All in all, The Huntsman Winter's War is a beautiful film with not much else to offer. Wait for it to come to video or video on demand.  Of course, if you don't want to take my word for it, The Huntsman Winter's War opens everywhere on April 22.

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