While I was visiting a few friends in a City-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named, we decided to go see Snow White and the Huntsman.
I had actually been looking forward to seeing this movie for nothing else other than the story and the setting. Then after seeing The Avengers and then watching Thor I got charmed by Chris Hemsworth and thought, “Well, that’s a bonus.” Also, Charlize Theron’s version of the evil queen looked pretty badass.
. . .
Boy, was I disappointed. Except for the Charlize Theron being a badass part. She was sufficiently evil and beautiful, and I rather wish she had been the White Witch in the Narnia adaptation.
Anyway, here’s something to remember: I am not a Twilight fan. I am not a Kristen Stewart fan, but honestly, I don’t have anything against her. I still found the idea behind Snow White intriguing, and I went in with a very open mind and was completely willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
In this case, the open mind got me nowhere. I just couldn’t buy Stewart as Snow White in any form, and certainly not a woman of valor. Her acting went back and forth between two facial expressions, and she never closes her mouth. (At least a couple times her eyes widen in horror, which is more than you get in the Twilight movies.) She just doesn’t have the screen presence to carry this role, especially in a movie that takes itself so seriously. She had no chemistry with either of the actors who played her two possible love interests. I honestly think she’s beautiful, and she could have had a more believable look as Snow White if she better demonstrated the “loving heart” and “strong spirit” that other people say she has. Alas, that just doesn’t come through.
The movie itself is gorgeous to watch. There were many, many shots that made me think, “I want a print of that hanging on my wall.” Unfortunately, the movie is also not focused and overlong. I don’t go to museums to stare at one painting for 2 1/2 hours, and I don’t like to watch movies that long if they have nothing to offer but prettiness. I kept waiting for a “hook,” for something or someone to tell us where it was all going, to have some kind of goal, something to cheer for, but there was none. After a strong start, it kind of fizzles out and spends the next two hours flopping around like a very pretty fish that doesn’t know where it’s going and just won’t die.
Charlize Theron was quite hammy and scenery-chewy, but I thought it worked. She was creepy and gorgeous and evil and ruthless and had a great look and presence for the role. Chris Hemsworth is OK and believable as the huntsman, and he gets a touching monologue when Snow White is sleeping-dead that did make me tear up. But then five minutes later, his reaction to her waking up is so underwhelming that it made me laugh. The character actors who play the dwarves were pretty good, and the movie did its best to make them their own characters and personalities without going for “Sneezy” and “Dopey.”
If you really want to see it, wait to rent it. Then you can skip some of the more boring parts or rewind the parts that are really confusing, because apparently I needed to do that too.