Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rose Red

Snow White and the Huntsman: written by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini; directed by Rupert Sanders; starring Kristen Stewart (Snow White), Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman), Charlize Theron (Queen Ravenna); Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, Johnny Harris, and Brian Gleeson (The Dwarves) (2012): A fairy tale that's been gene-spliced with The Lord of the Rings movies and the Twilight franchise.

Twilight's Kristen Stewart is a bit of a void here as the saintly Snow White -- her inability to master basic facial expressions is one of the most peculiar actorly failings of the last decade. Is she stoned all the time? Will she ever get that overbite fixed? And why doesn't she ever wash her hair?

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie. More than I enjoyed The Hobbit, anyway. The CGI-assisted dwarves, all played by normal actors and then squashed into their onscreen forms by the magic of computers, are more interesting than their counterparts in The Hobbit. There's a troll that's really awesome but which mysteriously doesn't show up at the climax when it really should. Charlize Theron chews the scenery as a really wicked witch. Chris Hemsworth tries and fails to deliver a comprehensible Scottish accent, but is otherwise enjoyable as the Huntsman.

There's a lyrical forest scene that seems to have been lifted from Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke by way of Ridley Scott's Legend. There's a trek-by-foot that looks a lot like the travelling scenes in The Lord of the Rings movies. There's a magic mirror that sounds like Darth Vader and looks like the T-1000. This isn't a particularly original movie, but it looks great and it comes to a suitably rousing finale. Recommended.

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