Snow White and The Huntsman was a box office hit back in 2012. Then backstage scandal meant both it’s lead actress Kristen Stewart and it’s director Rupert Sanders would not return for the sequel. So a sequel instead was rebooted around Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman. But will a sequel with such ropey beginnings be able to work?
Set before the events of the previous movie, Queen Ravenna’s (Charlize Theron) sister Freya (Emily Blunt) finds her ice powers unfleshed after a tragedy. Powered by her giref Freya builds her her own kindgom and makes an army out of children who will grow up to be her Huntsmen. As years go by two of them Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) break Freya’s rules by falling in love with distasterous consquences. The film then skips seven years to after Ravenna’s death when Eric is sent on a mission to recover the lost mirror of Ravenna coming back into contact with those of his past.
Stewart’s Snow White was one of the more blandest characters in the previous film so her presance isn’t sorely missed (although her absence doesn’t really make sense), but Hemsworth’s The Huntsman wasn’t that much interesting either. So trying to set the sequel/prequel around him was perhaps not the best idea. The film is also so busy trying to fit around the fact that Snow White is not around that several characters have their backstory’s retconned from the previous movie such as Ravenna suddenly gaining a sister. Why didn’t she go to her for help in the previous film if she was around then?
Then there’s the film’s attempt to make this a lighter, funnier movie than it’s predessessor. Not a bad idea but most of it’s humour is hit and miss. The film also has three great actresses in Chastain, Theron and Blunt but Theron isn’t in it enough and Chastain’s Sara feels underdeveloped and lacks chemsistry with Hemsworth. Blunt fares better with Freya having a tragic backstory that powers the action and her scenes with Theron are great but there aren’t enough of them together.
Overall The Huntsman Winter’s War isn’t a terrible film just an uncessary one.
Rating 2.5/5 -a fine casting and some enticing visuals aside this prequel/sequel fails to ignite a new franchise to life