Movie Review: The Huntsman: Winter’s War

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By Linley McCord

There really isn’t a good way to define this movie. It’s both an origin story and a sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). It combines Thor, Frozen, and The Chronicles of Narnia all into one pseudo-fairy tale that doesn’t quite work out how it was probably intended to. And it has about five different plots running through it that all somehow interweave, though not smoothly.

To start, two close sisters are introduced: Ravenna and Freya. They’re both witches, and through a tragedy, are separated into two different but equally as tyrannical kingdoms. Freya is the Ice Queen and rules her kingdom with only one rule: no love allowed. She kidnaps children, trains them to be deadly soldiers (called Huntsmen), and forbids any type of love.

Naturally, two fall in love over a time lapse of 20 years and Freya works her magic—literally—to end it. Eric (Chris Hemsworth) escapes and becomes Snow White’s huntsman in the first film. This is where the movies run parallel for the briefest of moments. Then, later, Eric is called upon to find and destroy the magical mirror that is now brainwashing people to kill each other.

Eric and his merry band of traveling misfits faces betrayal, trial, and battle to get the powerful mirror away from dangerous hands with a fair amount of predictable “plot twists” and some bad CGI. While the plot has a few redeeming points, they are few and far between. It feels more like a children’s movie in terms of complexity (but isn’t appropriate for kids).

There are so many stars in this movie that it’s disappointing none of their characters are fleshed out well. Hemsworth stars alongside Jessica Chastain (Sara). The two witch sisters are Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron. They’re all just average at best. While the actors themselves range from decent to excellent, they clearly weren’t given a lot of development to work with. Eric’s charm is really the most exciting part of any of the characters.

It’s not an exceptional movie. Somewhat entertaining, but not great.

Rated PG-13 for suggestive material and language.

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