Saying that The Huntsman: Winter’s War is better than Snow White and the Huntsman is not saying much. Especially considering that I can’t remember much about Snow White and The Huntsman. The only thing I remember was being amazed that Kristen Stewart was cast as Snow White.

I am a simple man. As such I can turn a blind eye to a great swath of cinematic blunders, but seriously? Kristen Stewart as Snow White? Heroine addicts in full DTs would be hard pressed to suspend their disbelief concerning Kristen Stewart being more beautiful than Charlize Theron?

Okay, yeah, fine, I’ll grant that beauty is more than outward appearance, and that’s the metaphor the Snow White story is telling. Still, we are talking about a Hollywood summer blockbuster, and pretty girls put butts in seats. Even if I’m willing to forgo the shallow viewer arguement, using the one emotional dimension, mouth-gaping Kristen Stewart as the more desirable/fair/whatever beauty than Charlize Theron? Sorry. Not happening. Not even if she were pure as the driven snow.

Contrived! I’m calling bullshit. It only happened because it was in the script.

Eh, whatever. Enough about the bad one.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a’ight. It’s standard fantasy/fairy tale fare. The effects are pretty good and there are a couple laughs. It was a little long at just under 2 hours, but it moved along smoothly enough to keep me engaged.

and… uhm…

Wow. Three sentences. I could have just posted this on twitter.

There’s a bit more. Two things, in fact, that stood out to me: the use of Love and where this movie falls in the franchise’s timeline.

Love

I have thrown my hissy bitch fit about the misuse of love in movies, but I’m not going to do that here. This time I think the filmmakers actually used love in a realistic way. Throughout the movie the characters kept making noises about love conquering all. The first time it came up my heart sank. I kept waiting for some stupid shit to happen but it never did. Love doesn’t magically heal the lame or cause the hero to attain new fighting skills. All love does is endure. Ravenna tries to twist everyone into hateful creatures like herself, but in the end love wins out. And that’s it.

Huh. Nice.

Timeline

This was both the prequel AND the sequel to Snow White and The Huntsman. I’m not sure, but I think this is the first time a movie has straddled another like this. Granted, my memory isn’t what it used to be, so I’m willing to admit I’m wrong (bring it on, internet nerds). I wonder if there will ever be an “ultimate cut” of these movies where you start this one, then Snow White, then finish with this. Probably not, but it might be neat.

Eh, or not. I don’t know that I, or anyone for that matter, would be interested in sitting through four hours of this.

As much as I’ve complained about Snow White you’ll be glad to know that even if you haven’t seen Snow White and the Huntsman, it doesn’t matter. You are not missing anything. But if you have, it’s cool how this movie fits into the timeline.

To sum up, The Huntsman: Winter’s War is basically a make out movie. That is, if you are 15 and need a place to go make out find a cheap theater and buy tickets to this film (assuming it is still in theaters). If you score you’re not missing anything. If you don’t it’s not to terrible a movie to sit through, even if you’re disappointed that your date’s frigid.

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