Benjamin Maio Mackay
The Huntsman: Winter’s War - 2 Stars
There’s something surprisingly charming about this film, or at least there’s certainly nothing to blatantly hate.
I never saw the first film and I had no expectations of the sequel, what was a little annoying was Kristen Stewart’s (Snow White) absence. For a movie that focused on Snow White, merely stating she was “sick” doesn’t excuse the fact the actor wouldn’t return. Leaving that aside I think I must deal with the fact that releasing a movie in the fantasy genre is a dangerous course of action. While there are obvious successes, Lord of the Rings, TV’s Game of Thrones, every other fantasy release tries to mimic their style, hoping for similar success. One of the first scenes of the film was the burning of a baby, they were clearly hoping to create a dark tone and have a shocking opening. This achieved neither.
The script wasn’t original and was filled with clichés, what was surprisingly good was the performances. I mean, the accents were Scottish and leading man Chris Hemsworth didn’t always nail that - but the emotion, character intent and charisma was certainly there. Jessica Chastain was amazing as the female lead, but Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron underperformed. The humour was almost a saving grace of the film, surprisingly and this was delivered well by Rob Brydon, Nick Frost and Sheridan Smith.
Visually the film looked lovely and there is a set up for a third film in the last scene.
While I wasn’t impressed with the film and it brought nothing new to the table, it is a fun, charming, pleasant way to spend an evening and it does offer some fantastic jokes delivered well by its leading cast.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Universal Entertainment