The Huntsman: Winter’s War – Film Review

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When I saw Snow White and the Huntsman I never once thought ‘I need a back story for this character’ or ‘He needs his own movie’ so The Huntsman: Winter’s War, both a prequel and sequel, felt unnecessary and the movie itself did nothing to change that, but I’m glad it gave me the opportunity to see Jessica Chastain kicking ass, Charlize Theron being bloody terrifying and some hilarious dwarves.

In the years before the first film, Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Chastain) are taken in as children and trained to become Hunstmen, or warriors for Freya, The Ice Queen (Emily Blunt), who has turned evil following a personal tragedy when she lived with her sister Queen Ravenna (Theron). The rule of Freya’s kingdom is you cannot love, so when Eric and Sara are caught together, he is banished thinking Sara has been killed.

In the sequel portion, Ravenna has been defeated and her wicked mirror is up for grabs, so Eric and his dwarves try to find it before Freya gets her hands on it.

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The problem with this movie is that it has tried to achieve too much. The absence of Sara from the first movie is easily explained, but it makes no sense that Freya would be missing as she was Ravenna’s sister. Her addition here feels tacked on, like they are rewriting the backstory of the original. Two evil queens are one too many and makes the movie feel bloated, especially as Freya comes too soon after Frozen and I just kept thinking she was Elsa the entire time. Emily’s character was dull and boring and she failed to put her own stamp on it and set herself apart from Elsa – it’s not her fault, that’s the script.

Another problem was the accents. Hemsworth and Chastain both gave Scottish a go (I think?) and while they were valiant efforts, they were very inconsistent and often times laughable. This was distracting so I wish they had just gone English across the board. However, I liked their relationship and while my friend found their arc cheesy, I thought it was fine for the fairy tale setting , but it could have been written a bit better. I enjoyed all of their scenes together, and it was great to watch them fighting against each other, or fighting as a team. As predicted, I loved watching them kick ass.

 

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Two other highlights – the dwarves and Theron. Nick Frost returns as a dwarf and is joined by Rob Brydon and Sheridan Smith and they are so funny. They are constantly bickering and they made me laugh out loud a lot. Hemsworth is also pretty damn funny in places. But this humour does feel weird at times because the rest of it is so bleak. Cue Theron, who is sexy and mysterious and totally terrifying. If I was a child, I would be scared of her in the final scene.

Yes, The Ice Queen was dreary and her scenes sucked the life out of me, yes, the script was corny as hell and yes, there is not a lot of plot (yet it felt super long) but it is not totally awful. The action was great, the CGI at the end was incredible (although it was sketchy throughout) and it had plenty of laughs. I love the casting, there was a great sense of adventure and it works well for both adults and kids. The quality is questionable but it is fun, entertaining and a decent popcorn movie.

In cinemas now 

Comments

  1. Nice review. I definitely will be seeing this movie (love the cast in it), but I don’t have extremely high expectations for it.

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