Movie Review: The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)

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Plot: As a war between rival queen sisters Ravenna and Freya escalates, Eric and fellow warrior Sara, members of the Huntsmen army raised to protect Freya, try to conceal their forbidden love as they combat Ravenna’s wicked intentions

Rating: 7/10

I’m probably being very lenient with the rating, because this movie has quite a bit of flaws. For all its’ flaws it is an entertaining watch. I didn’t expect a second movie after Snow White and the Huntsman, but how could I not? Hollywood will milk a success till it lies twitching feebly on the ground, milked of everything that made it so good to start with.

The Huntsman is back, sans Snow White. She’s busy being haunted by the Mirror and is not Kristen Stewart anymore (I think Stewart was not interested in showing her face again lest we remember her shenanigans with the previous director).

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The Huntsman, or Eric, is living a holistic life after defeating Ravenna, and is not impressed with the charm or charisma when the handsome Prince pitches and requests that he hunt down the Mirror and prevent evil to rise again. He takes along his two dwarf friends, who are really against female dwarves for some reason.

And for no further plot reasons than to bring romance into the story, two female dwarves join the hunting party. Soon another lady arrives – Eric’s long dead ex, Sarah, played by Jessica Chastain. Naturally questions arise and we, and Eric and Sara, see what happened that fateful day when he thought he saw her murdered.

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There is also another Queen in the mix – Queen Freya (Emily Blunt), who lost all her niceness when her child was burned in her crib by her lover (I really don’t blame her for losing her niceness). As she’s Ravenna’s sister, there is plotsies afoot, and she sets out with her newly acquired power to take a lot of land by icy force and force children to love her – I mean who wouldn’t when the choice is between love and being murdered? Love comes easily then.

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Winter’s War takes a lot of stories and tries to combine them. Some is really unnecessary and a lot of the time Winter’s War looks like a really pretty perfume ad, but it really isn’t bad. The cast is stellar and Emily Blunt is particularly enjoyable (though please don’t think for a second I didn’t enjoy my husband CH as well!). There is a lot of sadness, something Blunt does really well, and Charlize Theron is disgusting, frightening, beautiful and evil as her return as Ravenna. The mirror also stays amazing – how they brought that concept to the screen looks ridiculously cool.

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I love love love Chris Hemsworth. I thought I would always choose him as Thor, but this roughly hewn and really charming Eric works so well. And, accents. GAWSH. I think this role suits Hemsworth well because it firstly gives him something to be other than Thor Odinson and secondly it is written in a way, and especially in the second movie, to highlight his natural charm and that gorgeous smile. I am obviously a massive fan and will gladly pitch whenever he is onscreen, but it isn’t only for the looks – he is a decent actor and although I am a bit sad to say this and it is because he hasn’t really had time to prove himself in very serious movies, he is an excellent popcorn entertainment actor.

If you want to enjoy Winter’s War, it really is possible, because it isn’t bad. I think we should all just sometimes remind ourselves that it is okay to enjoy a movie because it is fun and sweet and looks pretty – not all things need to be dark and intelligent and serious!

Some more, ehm, shots of the movie:

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Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

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The beautiful and peaceful Kingdom of Tabor is ruled by King Magnus (Noah Huntley) and his Queen Eleanor (Liberty Ross). Queen Eleanor gives birth to their daughter Snow White and she is loved by the entire kingdom – for her beauty and kindness. The Queen dies when Snow White is a little girl.

The King rescues a woman from the Dark Army – Ravenna (Charlize Theron). He falls in love and marries her quickly. On her wedding night, Ravenna kills the King and seizes control over the Tabor. Snow White’s childhood friend William tries to save her but it is too late – she is taken captive and he and his father are barely able to escape.

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*Ravenna

Ravenna, a powerful sorceress now rules the Kingdom with her brother Finn (Sam Spruell) as her righthand man. Snow White is locked away for many years, until the Queen’s Magic Mirror tells her that if she takes Snow White’s soul she will become immortal and Ravenna decides to kill her. Snow White breaks away from Finn and escapes into the Dark Forest, and Ravenna is furious with Finn and orders him to find her immediately. Because Ravenna has no power in the Dark Forest, they need the help of someone else and they decide on Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), a drunkard who is still grieving the death of his wife. Ravenna promises to bring his wife back from the dead and only then he agrees.

Meanwhile, news that Snow White is alive reaches the Duke and his son William (Sam Claflin), and William immediately leaves on his own to go search for her.

Eric catches Snow but quickly starts to question why the Queen wants her so bad. He and Snow flee into the forest to escape Finn and find a fishing village where the women disfigure themselves to not be hunted by Ravenna. Eric realises who Snow White really is and decides to leave. The village is attacked by Finn and his soldiers and Eric returns and saves her. they flee firther into the forest. William, who infiltrated Finn’s army in the hope of saving Snow White, sees them dissapear.

In the forest they meet the Dwarves, who ties them up. One of the Dwarves, the ancient Muir, senses that Snow White is the daughter of king Magnus and that she can defeat Ravenna, and they head into a fairy sanctuary.

In the fairy Sanctuary one of the dwarves is killed when he jumps in front of an arrow to save Snow White. William finally joins the party and they head to Duke Hammond’s castle. On the way there, Ravenna disguises herself as William and tricks Snow into eating a poisoned apple. Desperately, William kisses Snow in the hopes of awakening her but it doesn’t work, and they take her to the Castle where she lies in sleep. Heartbroken Eric tells her his story and finally kisses her, and she awakens. Snow rallies the Duke’s Army and they head to fight Ravenna.

Will the army be able to kill Ravenna? Will the Kingdom become whole again?

Rating: 6.5/10

I enjoyed the new take on the classic fairytale. It is a lot more girl power than the Disney version, and both female leads were strongly written.

I’m sure that there were loads of better actresses that could have portrayed Snow White better than Kristen Stewart. In Snow White and the Huntsman her acting is remarkably better than in all the Twilight movies, but she still leaves me unmoved. The speech after Snow White wakes up is very uninspiring. I would not be motivated by the screeching sound that emits from Kristen Stewart when she needs to make an impassioned speech. Once again she only manages to look constipated.

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*Snow White

Ravenna is a fantastic character with intense issues with men. Charlize Theron was well cast for this – she does the icy beauty to perfection. Her anger and madness makes you sense the deep rooted hate Ravenna has for anything male. I am not sure how they plan to justify Snow White being more beautiful than the Queen – Charlize is simply stunning even in her 40s (I hope I’m right with the age!)

Now, my bestie is likely to tell you that I have a tendency to gush about Chris Hemsworth – no idea WHAT she is talking about – but OMFG he is damn hot. In Snow White and the Huntsman it was pretty much the voice above all else – not discounting how he rocks the dirty man look – but suddenly I am really appreciating the generally annoying Aussie accent. Back to his acting: I thought it was decent. As mentioned before, he delivers better acting than what would be his typecast performances. Let’s take another Twilight alumni for example – Kellan Lutz, who is fine to look at and good at throwing things around but not much else.  I also thought Sam Claflin fits perfectly into the fairytale prince. I felt genuinely sorry that he didn’t get the girl, but Eric was a much better match for Snow.

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*Huntsman Eric

The storyline did seem a bit unclear at times, and does drag some. It is filmed in the dark fairy-tale mood that is so popular right now and works relatively well. I liked the how disgusting the dark forest was and also how beautiful the Fairy sanctuary (or whatever) was. The dwarves were cute. The furry apple still makes me feel slightly sick. It still does. I really liked how the mirror was portrayed.

What did you think?