This Friday, Rupert Sanders makes his feature directorial debut with Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman. It’s an action-packed take on the classic fairy tale that features Kristen Stewart as the fairest one of all. The film steps away from the princess who needs rescuing and gives her an independent makeover. But even though she has the innocence and virtue, Charlize Theron‘s Queen Ravenna steals the show.

Check out our review below…

The Players:

  • Director: Rupert Sanders
  • Writers: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini
  • Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Sam Spruell, Ian McShane, Toby Jones, Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Johnny Harris, Brian Gleeson, Vincent Regan
  • Director of Photography: Greig Fraser
  • Music: James Newton Howard     

The Plot:

As a child, Snow White’s (Stewart) father is killed by her evil step-mother Ravenna (Theron). The queen quickly takes over his kingdom and keeps Snow locked away in a cell. The villagers and noblemen, including Snow’s childhood friend Prince William (Claflin), assume she’s dead. But years later, as an adult, she finally breaks free. Queen Ravenna needs Snow’s heart to maintain her youth and beauty, so she sends the Huntsman (Hemsworth) to kill her. But instead of taking her life, he becomes her protector and mentor.

The Good:

  • Charlize Theron: Theron goes above and beyond the call of duty as Queen Ravenna. Even though she’s the film’s villain, there’s a hint of vulnerability in the character. She’s deliciously evil and dark, but it comes from a deeper place. At her rotten core, there’s a lot of hurt and fear. And Theron does a great job of bringing that across.
  • The Special Effects: The visuals in this film are spectacular. The contrast between good and evil, is showcased with the bleakness of the queen’s castle and the beauty of the hidden forest. The mystical creatures, ravens, and glass soldiers were stunning.
  • Snow White’s Agenda: Unlike the original fairy tale, in this film, Snow White has something to do. She doesn’t wait around for a prince. She has a plan to restore her father’s kingdom. She is the rightful heir to the throne and wants to take it back. It’s great that this version has agency and is passionate about something — anything.

The So-So:

  • The Ambiguity: It’s nice that Snow White isn’t walking around in a haze of love. She’s not pining over Prince William or the Huntsman. But it’s still obvious that she cares for both men, and them for her. Yet there’s no clear-cut realization of anything romantic. There’s a tinge of it, but there’s no real follow-through. As a viewer, you want to see something at least, semi-definite. But you never get it.

The Bad:

  • The Messiah Complex: Yes, Snow White is the fairest one of all, but is she also Neo from The Matrix and Jesus Christ too? She was presumed dead, and people are shocked by her reappearance, but the constant admiration and praise was a bit much. At one point she’s actually referred to as “The One.” It was slight overkill.

Overall:

Compared to Alice in Wonderland (which was also produced by Joe Roth) and last spring’s Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman is far superior. It lagged in a few parts, but was never boring or stagnant. At the end of the day, we think it’s worth your time.

The Rating: 8/10

Snow White and the Huntsman opens in theaters nationwide June 1.

Photo Gallery:

Trailer:

Will you be seeing Snow White and the Huntsman this weekend?