03 June 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

          Essential plot rundown:  Snow White must stop the Evil Queen.  So, I was actually pretty excited to see this movie.  The trailers made it look really epic and awesome.  However, I was a little disappointed.  I thought the idea was really good; they just didn't execute it properly.  It had some things that were really cool.  But, it also had a lot of things that were stupid and prevented me from liking it as much as I wanted.  

          Normally, I try to keep my reviews spoiler free, but I feel I'll need to mention specific things in order to really get my thoughts across.  Be ye therefore warned.  Let us start with the things that bothered me.  Like I said, I really liked the idea and concept behind SWATH, there were just too many little things that held it down.  I'll just go through them in no particular order.

          The first thing is the troll.  Snow White (SW) and the Huntsman (HM) encounter a troll.  Said troll then proceeds to beat up HM.  SW then comes out and yells at the troll.  They then stare longingly into each other's eyes and have a moment.  The troll then leaves.  Why does all of this happen?  I don't know.  No explanation is ever given as to why she scared the troll away.  As I was watching, I was thinking Wait, what just happened?  That doesn't make any sense.  Another thing that doesn't make any sense is the horse that is lying around on the beach, waiting to help SW.

          She then rides the horse to the Black Forest.  And everyone in the film is scared of the forest and won't go after her.  They have to get one of the few who have traveled it before to go in after her.  So they get HM.  But he finds her literally in 2 minutes.  The way everybody talked about it, I was expecting him tracking her through the forest to be a decently developed portion of the film.  But nothing of significance really happens and they are out of there in 5 minutes.  So, that was a little disappointing.  Black Forest?  No big deal.

          They then meet up with the dwarves.  However, instead of casting real dwarves, they use normal actors, pulling a LOTR and making them look small.  But, they just looked weird.  They didn't look like real dwarves, but rather some kind of cheap trick that didn't work very well.  They are not convincing.  Also, one of the dwarves is killed and there is a big 'ol dramatic let's-burn-him-instead-of-burying-him scene.  Everybody is sad and there is music playing.  But the thing is...we don't know him nor care for him.  The only thing that sets him apart from the other dwarves is him asking SW to dance.  I didn't even know his name; why would I care that he died?

          Also, SW runs into a magic elk.  The dwarves act all amazed and there is super dramatic music playing.  So, clearly this is an important event.  But nothing happens.  I don't know who the elk was or why the dwarves thought it was important.  I was waiting to care about what was happening; I never did.  Though, I did laugh when the elk subsequently got shot.  Also, there are a lot of CG animals (which I don't like) and poorly designed magic creatures.

          Speaking of under developed characters, let's talk about another one.  His name is Will (I think).  Anyways, he hangs out with SW when they are little and then are separated.  Once he finds out she's still alive, he goes after her.  But we know nothing about him other than what I just said.  The Evil Queen (EQ) then disguises herself as him and tricks SW into eating the apple.  But the whole time I was confused.  At first I thought he was really bad and was helping the queen.  But then it shows that he's not.  But the thing was that he was so under developed, I didn't know what to expect; I didn't know how to react.  Sometimes it's good to thwart expectations.  But, because I didn't know him, I didn't have any.  That scene just didn't work for me.  It would have been better if she impersonated HM instead.

          SW then eats the apple and dies.  HM then kisses her and she comes back to life.  Seriously, that is literally how it happened.  There's no big struggle, no obstacle to overcome to bring her back.  HM doesn't have to fight his way in to reach her.  Nothing.  He just walks in and kisses her.  It was so simple to overcome that there was no real reason for it to be in the movie.  Nothing really changes because of this event.  Well, one thing does change:  SW is all of a sudden a warrior.  After waking up, she's all gung-ho and gives a not-very-inspirational speech to her people.  And then she leads to them battle.  What?  When did she become all battle ready?  She's never fought in her life!  How can she lead an entire army?  Just because HM kissed her?  But luckily, the movie redeems this fact a little when she finally faces EQ.  During the climax, it is clear that SW can't fight.  Which is a good thing cuz she can't.  However, the bad comes when she does kill EQ.  She basically kills her by chance.  During the whole movie, SW is made out to be the savior of the kingdom that will restore order.  But she only kills EQ because HM taught her one thing in passing.  She just gets lucky that EQ fights her physically instead of using magic on her.

          And on the note, they wait too long to explain EQ's magic powers.  At first, I thought that she seduced men and then stole their life.  That's how the movie made it feel like.  But she actually steals it from beautiful ladies.  Maybe I'm just dumb, but the movie should've clarified that sooner.  And I thought Charlize Theron, while good most of the time, over acted.  There were times when she would get super upset or something and it didn't feel natural.

          And finally, my biggest complaint:  Kristen Stewart.  She cannot act.  At the beginning, she is blowing on some sparks, trying to start a fire.  And I kid you not, I literally did not believe that she was blowing on a fire, her acting was for bad.  If you can't get me to believe that you are building a fire, how do you expect me to believe you when you lead an army into battle?  Also, the whole point of this movie is that SW is fairer than EQ.  But there is not a chance in hell that Kristen Stewart will ever be fairer than Charlize Theron!  Stewart is cute, yes.  But Theron is sexy.  That is the biggest plot point of the movie and I didn't buy it.

          Well, that's about all of the things that bothered me.  Let's talk about the good stuff now!  I liked Chris Hemsworth.  He was convincing.  He was the best actor in the whole movie.  I would say that I'm a fan.

          There were also a few things that were cool.  There is a scene where EQ bathes in milk.  This confused me as well.  (I guess I'm easily confused).  The trailer made it appear as part of her rejuvenation process.  So I was expecting that; but it wasn't.  This is what is looks like:

The milk coats her entire body.  Now, I'm not a doctor, but I don't think normal milk would cover a person like that; so that threw me off.  However, the real reason is much cooler.  There is a shot of milk flowing from a fountain and people fighting to drink it.  It then cuts to EQ talking to her brother, telling him how good she is to her people.  She then disrobes and jumps in a pool of milk; which I then assume empties out the fountain.  She is essentially giving them her bath water to drink.  I thought it was a nice way to build her character and flesh her out a little bit.

          Another part is when, after turning into crows and flying away from HM, she returns to her castle.  The crows just crash into the floor, turning into a puddle of black goo.  EQ then crawls out of the goo.  A few of the birds didn't crash into the puddle, but landed next to it.  The whole time EQ crawls from the  goo, these crows are flapping and twitching on the ground, like they are dying. It was visually cool and kind of creepy.  Just another cool moment.

          Overall, it's not a bad movie.  I really liked the idea behind the movie; it just wasn't executed well enough.  I thought it had a lot of potential.  And that is actually the worst part, because I was let down.  I really wanted to like it more, but there were too many small things that stopped me.  Though, it is still a fun movie.

     But that's just my opinion...

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