I have been wondering how I should start this review, and I can’t avoid it. Charlize Theron is way way way fairer than Kristen Stewart. If you are going to cast Charlize as the wicked witch Ravenna, then Snow White has to be extraordinarily beautiful and Kristen Stewart is not that.
Charlize Theron vs Kristen Stewart - there game is over before it begins.
Visually this movie is fantastic, the castle, the snowy gardens, the dark forest, Sanctuary, the eight? dwarves all look great. It is truly a work of art. However this is clearly where the budget went as the writing was clearly left to a group of 12 year olds in a joint creative writing class.
The film is hugely disjointed, breaking all kinds of rules of the universe and time. Fine you might say, it’s a fairy tale, but then it even breaks the rules that itself setup. A simple example is the epic journey/escape that Snow White undertakes, across the land to reach an army of her supporters. It is of Tolkien proportions. Only once she rallies her troops, her army gallops back to face Ravenna and her army in a journey more akin to the trip down to the supermarket.
Both Ravenna and Snow White deliver speeches that will be appearing on YouTube in the not too distant future as examples of the actresses worst work: I literally cringed and sunk into my seat. The speeches both actresses were solid. The one performance of note was Chris Helmsworth, the Huntsmen his character was possibly the best written character and his performance the more satisfying. I also enjoyed the dwarfs, great British talent mixed with CGI brought Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins and Ray Winstone down to size, but like their size, their role in the film was diminutive. The dwarves did provide the only humour in the film but, if I recall correctly, it was two laughs only. So out of place was the humour that it felt odd to find a momentary out burst of mirth and for a moment the Time Bandits flashed through my mind.
As for romance, which ultimately Snow White is all about, Prince Charming kissing the sleeping Princess etc, this movie took it all out. Deleted every last skerrick of romance, and then remembered that it was Snow White and injected a dash here or there. The love triangle Huntsmen - Princess - Prince went nowhere, the Prince - Princess went nowhere and the Huntsmen - Princess went nowhere. All very boring.
I can’t help but feel that this belonged as a TV series. The world created was epic in size, rich and dazzling. TV would have allowed the same development for the characters.
Finally there is that 3D element. If you know me, or follow me on Twitter
you will know that I don’t think much of 3D. In fact I loathe it. So naturally I saw this film the way I like my movies, in 2D. But directors and directors of cinematography are so intent on making the most of 3D and having things fly at the audience it all gets rather boring. The Prince’s weapon of choice was the bow, I suspect just so things could go zinging around your head while you sat in the cinema. Hollywood really needs to stop it and get back to telling stories.
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