It sounded like an easy story. Snow White, the Evil Witch, attractive Huntsman, and decent cast. What could go wrong?
Everything! The script was poorly developed—and staid, stock set (beautiful Irish landscaping, dreary, unexceptional interiors, villages, and dark forest), flat characters, too many characters, characters and sub-plots that added nothing to the overall plotline. And the acting was not good.
And by not good, I mean it was bad. I’ve seen Kristen Stewart in two movies now: Snow White and the Huntsman and Twilight (the first one), and in my opinion, she should get a day job. Her acting is flat, dreary, monotonous. She might as well be serving fries at McDonalds. “I’ve seen what she sees. I can kill her,” “would you like fries with that?” It’s all the same to her. She wasn’t Snow White, she was Kristen Stewart playing Snow White—earning a paycheck. And she certainly doesn’t qualify as “fairest of them all,” not in my book anyway! Who else could have done the role? Taylor Cole? Rooney Mara? Annie Wersching? Emma Stone? Emma Watson—she’d have rocked. She’s beautiful, experienced working in films with a magical element, and, you know, she can act.
But no, we have Kristen Stewart with her less than perfect posture and dead eyes. She traipses around the beautiful Irish and Welsh landscape looking like she just wants to get through it; she has rent to pay, or something. She’s just going through the motions. Her Aragorn-at-the-gates speech is an abysmal failure. It should be used in theater arts classes: this is what not to do.
At one point M., my movie-buddy leaned over and said, “They should have asked us to write the script.” because the movie holds no surprises. Snow White, Evil Queen, the repressed brother figure, the tortured hero. Seven dwarves—ok the dwarves were good. But their angst and attitude wasn’t unexpected, I’ve seen Fairytale Theater.
Charlize Theron, usually an amazing actress, was overdone. She didn’t come off as an evil queen so much as a hormonally imbalanced wretch. I suppose stealing youth has its drawbacks—perpetual pms? The nature of evil queen-ness requires cold and calculating, not screaming tantrums. I wasn’t afraid of her, I wanted to offer her a Midol, maybe some hot tea. She did have the best clothes in the movie…
And then there was Snow White’s love interest, the Huntsman, played by Chris Helmsworth. The Huntsman does what a character is supposed to do in a movie; he grows and is changed by his experiences. He’s the movie’s only surprise—because he play his part well. It’s not a surprise that the Huntsman is going to be the love interest, the title tells me that.
And what’s with the Duke’s son? That character—and whole story line–is extraneous to the film. I know from the beginning Snow White’s not going to end up with him. He poses no threat to the well seasoned, rough and tumble Huntsman, he’s not a foil for the Queen or her insipid brother. He wasn’t even all that cute or charming.
It is, unquestionably, the worst film I’ve seen this year. I paid $5.50 (a Carmike 7-days a week 4-5:30 matinée special) and despite the beautiful Irish landscape, despite the eye-candy (both masculine and feminine) I feel like I was robbed. Wait for the late-night B-movie midnight TV showing, because that’s this Snow White’s destiny.