‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ a Dark Retelling of Fairy Tale

by Eric Melin on June 1, 2012

in Reviews,Video Reviews

This review originally appeared in shorter form on KSNT-NBC, KTKA-ABC, and KTMJ-FOX, Kansas First News.

snow-white-and-the-huntsman-2012-movie-posterKristen Stewart stars as Snow White and Charlize Theron is the Queen who talks to her mirror in a darker re-imagining of the classic tale.

The movie poster for Snow White and the Huntsman says “from the producer of Alice in Wonderland,” which is really all you need to know about this dull and completely unnecessary remake.

Sure, the Brothers Grimm fairy tale existed long before Walt Disney made the classic animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but this movie only exists as a crass way for Hollywood to make money by updating a known story into a generic medieval setting with tons of meaningless action.

Charlize Theron is having lots of fun hamming it up as the evil Queen, but she’s the only person with a spark in this entire film. Kristen Stewart is sleepwalking and radiates none of her character’s legendary charm, which is made worse by the fact that everyone’s always talking about how radiant she is.

kristen stewart snow white mouth openChris Hemsworth, better known now as Thor, is a muted huntsman, struggling to make the most of a screenplay from The Blind Side and The Alamo director John Lee Hancock, Drive adapter Hossein Amini, and Evan Daugherty. Hemsworth and his fellow actors really have nothing to do except stand by while make-up and CGI effects dominate the show because there is a complete lack of memorable lines and no sense of humor whatsoever.

The awful, self-serious and by-the-numbers script takes story staples like the mirror, the apple, and the kiss that brings Snow White back to life and throws them in randomly so there are things we recognize, but it’s got no sense of forward movement at all.

theron queen throne crown evil snow whiteOnce the seven dwarves appear, there’s a brief moment of interest as veteran British actors’ heads CGI’ed miraculously onto little people bodies breathe some life into the proceedings, but even then the novelty wears off. Essentially, that’s what Snow White and the Huntsman is — a novelty.

First-time feature director Rupert Sanders creates a couple of visually inventive scenes, such as Snow White’s surrealistic trip into the Dark Forest, but the pacing is lumpy and much of the movie is flat and uninspired.

At just over two hours, Snow White and the Huntsman drags and drags, until it eventually ends with Snow White leading troops on horseback in a castle raid, just like the Alice in Wonderland remake.

What’s next, an R-rated violent fantasy about Dumbo the weaponized flying elephant?

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate W June 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm

A weaponized flying elephant? I would see that movie. At home. And not tell anybody. Bummer about this, it looked like there was potential.

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2 Eric Melin June 5, 2012 at 12:07 am

Yeah, maybe someone should run with Dumbo as a starting point and see where it takes them and drop the name completely. Dumber things have happened!

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3 Sarah June 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

While I agree the the movie dragged and instead of picking one character and focusing the plot on them, it seemed to drift aimlessly to and fro from one character to the next…I will say that I for one am happy that someone has decided to choose the follow a slightly more true to form version of the Snow White tale. Disney has dulled everything down so people are shocked to find out the originals involved things like the queen planning on eating the organs. It wasn’t all Hi Ho!
I for one was amazed at how the director seemed to steal scene after scene from other movies and simply reshoot them for this movie. Lord of the Rings has been brought up, but the horse in the swamp was straight out of Never Ending Story, many other shots (like in the enchanted forest) look like they were taken straight out of Pan’s Labyrinth.

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4 Eric Melin June 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Yep, that’s one of the dangers of revisiting a story that was around before all the movies that came after it — I call it ‘John Carter’ disease. Although I think ‘John Carter’ had more vitality and life in it, even if it was terribly derivative.

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