Thursday, June 21, 2012

Snow White & The Huntsman

  A very dark vision of the classic fairy tale starring Charlize Theron, Kristin Stewart, and Chris Hemsworth. The film tries hard to be a serious take on a children's classic but it mixes in elements of too many other movies ("Pan's Labyrinth" for one) to take itself seriously. And digitally grafting the heads of famous British actors onto the bodies of dwarves is just plain disturbing.

       Ms. Theron easily steals the movie as the evil queen. She is becoming quite adept at playing the icy villain (see "Prometheus"). She takes her part very seriously, even when imparting those famous words, "Mirror mirror on the wall..." Kristin Stewart, on the other hand, plays a very schizoid Snow White. At once an innocent, a warrior, a leader and a follower. She also navigates her way through a strange land pretty well for a girl who has been locked in a tower for most of her life. Her poisoned apple scene seems forced in this version but has a surprising twist. Mr. Hemsworth is not asked to do much except fight, act drunk, and look attractive. Basically the same thing he does as Thor in the Marvel films.

        Someone must have thought casting Ray Winstone, Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Toby Jones and Eddie Marsan as part of the seven dwarves was a fun idea. As I implied earlier, it's just creepy. They, however, seem to be enjoying themselves (and there's not a "Sleepy", "Doc" or "Dopey" among them). The digital landscape and CGI work is impressive but with an overall dark tone, it all becomes rather depressing. In the final scene, Ms. Stewart and Mr. Hemsworth appear not sure what to do next. The answer is simple... pray there's no sequel.

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