Snow White and the Huntsman

Professional frowner Kristen Stewart plays Snow White in this 2012 update of the Brothers Grimm’s classic fairytale. Grim being the operative word.

Actor Dolittle.

Except it’s not an update at all, as no attempt is made to bring Snow White‘s sexual politics out of the 19th century. Having escaped her evil stepmother’s (Charlize Theron) clutches, Snow White flees into the Dark Forest, where all the creatures in the kingdom risk their own lives to save her for no reason other than she’s a) beautiful and b) a royal. I don’t remember any of the Dwarves being called Pervy or Daily Expressy but there you go.

As it turns out, the film scraps the Dwarves’ Disney names, and by extension their personalities. Where The Hobbit leaves you exhausted of Dwarf antics, Snow White and the Huntsman is so staggeringly dry and depressing that you end up yearning for some Dwarven comic relief, but there’s not a single gag in the whole movie. Maybe that’s unfair; the film was nominated for 2 Oscars. If that’s not a joke I don’t know what is.

This seems a waste of the talented actors playing Dwarves (including Ian McShane, Toby Jones and Eddie Marsan), and Theron gives the worst Evil Queen performance since Angelina Jolie in Alexander. As the huntsman, Chris Hemsworth appears to have based his Scottish accent on Gordon Brown of all people, while Stewart seems to have gotten confused and thinks she’s playing Dopey.

In the end the picture’s problem is the same as so many bad movies: it doesn’t know who it’s for. The deathly sombre tone jars horribly with the childish “mirror mirror” dialogue and uninspired action sequences, making the whole thing Snow Trite indeed. A sequel, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, followed in 2016. Why? Who knows. Maybe someone broke a mirror.

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