This year’s second take on the Snow White story is equally as impressive visually as Tarsem’s Mirror Mirror. Snow White and the Huntsman also shares one of that film’s weaknesses and adds a couple of its own. Like its predecessor, it has the central issue of a miscast Snow White. Throw in an utterly humorless screenplay and nearly 20 more minutes of screen time than necessary and it comes off rather less well. We get more back story (a debatable plus), some extra incident (mostly very incidental), and a thoroughly pointless romantic triangle that goes nowhere and seems to be there mostly to Twilight-ize Kristen Stewart’s Snow White so that two hunky boys can fight over her (except they never actually do). Then there’s the question of Stewart and her Snow White. In moments of repose at least, she has a surprisingly effective storybook look. Her acting, however, is limited. She mostly has three expressions: either looking stoned or irritated or about to be spectacularly unwell. In fairness, she has her moments — notably her encounter with the troll and the white stag and her dance with the dwarf — but mostly I found her strident and off-putting. There is, however, a huge plus in the direction of first-time feature director Rupert Sanders. He may not quite have mastered the requirements of drama, and that is probably as much the fault of the screenplay as it is his, but Sanders has an obvious gift for visuals that suggests the possibility of a truly exciting future.
Director: Rupert Sanders
Writer: Evan Daugherty
Producer: Sam Mercer, Palak Patel and Joe Roth
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Toby Jones, Ian McShane, Nick Frost, Ray Winstone, Sam Claflin, Dave Legeno and Lily Cole
Snow White and the Huntsman