MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ pillages anything of intrigue

huntsman review

Film: The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Directed by: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain

There once was a princess named Snow White. She was the fairest in the land. The queen didn’t take kindly to that. They fought and Snow White won out. But what if there was more to the story? What if there was another land struggle over who’s the most powerful one of all? I don’t know what it is with Hollywood’s increasing persistence to make everything a shared universe and have a bunch of age-old plots play out in them, but it’s getting really fucking old. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is no different than the rest of the stale sequels you constantly see. Its brand notoriety gets asses in seats, and that’s about all it takes to make some cash. Well, it’s shameless and insulting to the people who pay outrageous ticket prices to see these wretched CGI fests. This new story wasn’t worthy enough to be mentioned in its predecessor, so why care? Exactly.

Winter’s War takes place before and after the events of Snow White and The Huntsman. Eric The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) was sold into child slavery at a young age as Ice Queen Freya (Emily Blunt) wanted to build an army to rule all of the lands. This was after Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), her sister, orchestrated her child’s death. After being thrown out of the army years before, Eric gets drawn back into the fold when Queen Ravenna’s powerful mirror is pursued by Freya. Now he and his former lover, Sara (Jessica Chastain), must join forces to prevent Freya and the newly exhumed Ravenna from taking power over all.

Winter’s War has a really difficult time in finding what kind of movie it wants to be. Eric and a couple of dwarves (Nick Frost and Rob Brydon!) are sent on a quest to retrieve the mirror. The road trip action-comedy to come of such a narrative device is actually kind of fun. That’s before a tale of old love being reignited and warring queen personalities take everything over. This is the kind of film that wants to expand a universe, to search under every rock and crevice in the hopes of finding some redeemable material. Unfortunately, nothing is to be found. This is the kind of slapdash environment cobbled together from fantasy epics like Lord of the Rings. It pales in comparison to the tireless detail and annotations put into better movies. It feeds off of what’s trending in media today, like Game Of Thrones. It’s the kind of film that’s instantly forgettable because it doesn’t have any desire to make waves. It just is.

But what about that cast?! It can’t all be bad with Thor and Furiosa taking first and second billing. Once again, talented performers like Hemsworth and Theron are forced to recite the most obligatory of dialogue to keep everything moving along. Hemsworth’s roguish charm and Theron’s commitment to camp only go so far. Blunt and Chastain are left to be without personality, wading through a bunch of green screen before stabbing more things.

Pardon the brevity, but Winter’s War is indicative of a disease running rampant in theaters today.

“Well, people paid for the first one so why don’t we make a sequel?” the studio exec asks before lighting an expensive cigar with a flaming bundle of $100 bills.

GRADE: D

Sam Cohen

Sam Cohen is that guy you can't have a conversation with without bringing up Michael Mann. He is also incapable of separating himself from his teenage angst (looking at you, Yellowcard). Read on as he tries to formulate words about movies!
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