‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ Review: All About the Queens

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Published May 2, 2016
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"The Huntsman: Winter's War" debuted in theaters on April 22. Photo courtesy of YouTube
"The Huntsman: Winter's War" debuted in theaters on April 22. Photo courtesy of YouTube

“The Huntsman: Winter’s War” debuted in theaters on April 22.
Photo courtesy of YouTube

After a four-year wait, the anticipated follow-up to “Snow White and the Huntsman” is finally here. This time around, the story focuses on Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman, as the character of Snow White was eliminated when Kristen Stewart did not want to reprise her role. With adventure, action and romance, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is entertaining from start to finish.

There isn’t a good classification for this film, because it is both a prequel and a sequel, which happens to also be the kicker of the film. “The Huntsman” was marketed as a prequel to the story of Snow White, yet the film switches to a sequel only 20 to 30 minutes into the action.

This is a big surprise considering the events of the original. Somehow, the story still manages to work, delivering the action sequences as promised.

The script has its issues, the biggest of which being not giving Charlize Theron’s Queen Ravenna enough screen time. At points, there is too much backstory and not enough action to further the plot. The plot is thin at times, which is why the film may have been split between prequel and sequel.

As the story continues to unfold, it only gets better and peaks as the film ends. Everything comes together and becomes excellent in the final act, concluding with a cliffhanger ending.

One of the best aspects of the film is the acting of Theron and Emily Blunt. The actresses show their talent for playing villains, which is atypical for both of them. Both Theron and Blunt were able to personify wickedness in their own ways, which translates very well on-screen.

Blunt plays the role of the Ice Queen perfectly by being stone-cold and showing minimal emotion during the entire film. The only downside to the character is an odd likeness to Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen.” Everything from Blunt’s appearance, magic powers and ice castle emulates the new Disney classic, which is simply unnecessary.

In addition, all of the costumes were beautifully designed, especially Blunt’s and Theron’s. Every outfit was wonderfully crafted, adding another fantastical element to the film. Blunt and Theron look like they walked right out of the pages of a fairy tale. It is obvious that a lot of time was put into getting each character’s look just right.

The costume designers deserve to be nominated for awards for their fabulous work, which is one of the high points of the film. The costumes are also symbolic of the moods of the queens.

It would be interesting to know what the script would have entailed if the producers had been able to get Stewart to portray Snow White in “The Huntsman.” They must be hopeful for a reunion in a possible third film, since this film ended abruptly with cryptic narration.

“The Huntsman” is able to hold the audience’s attention, even during the slow parts. However, the star of the film should have been the titular character, not the supporting roles.

 

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