Sep. 9th, 2016

drwex: (Troll)
I'm talking here about Snow White and the Huntsman and The Huntsman: Winter's War. (3/5 stars because I really didn't expect much)

These are generally fun, mostly mindless, movies of the genre that used to be called "sword and sorcery". It's pseudo-medieval, features people swinging and firing weapons typical of the Middle Ages, wearing armor, riding horses, and then you get a sprinkling of fantastic creatures and some fancy SFX magical effects. It's now clear to me that Chris Hemsworth's character in Ghostbusters is largely parodying the Huntsman.

In order to critique these movies you'd have to take them seriously, which I think would be a mistake. There isn't the level of whimsy in, say, Princess Bride but the films are clearly fairy tales being told in a fairly lighthearted manner (though there is a fair amount of darkness and PG-13 content). They're good for what they are, which is a few hours of entertainment.

Kristen Stewart's Snow White is a very modernized Joan of Arc-infused heroine. Hemsworth's Huntsman is your classic tortured reluctant hero. Charlize Theron is a scarily menacing villain (pay some freakin' attention Disney). Emily Blunt is a suitably psychotic second villain in the Winter's War. And Jessica Chastain's Sara is the kind of woman warrior I wish we'd see more of. You know they'll come into conflicts and there's absolutely no suspense about the outcome of the conflicts and that's OK. The costuming is not bad, the effects aren't overly intrusive and the settings are interesting enough to pique my curiosity about where the films were shot (IMDB lists locations throughout the UK).

The films are probably best seen in order so long as you don't mind that the second film completely erases Finn (Sam Spruell) who played a fairly menacing villain with a bad haircut in the first one. In the first film, he's Ravenna's brother and a fair bit is made of their mystical bond and longevity of relationship. In the second film, which supposedly comes before the first in the story chronology, Finn's nowhere to be seen and not even mentioned.

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