Powerhouse Leading Ladies Thrill In ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’

Uniting the tremendous acting forces that are Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, and Jessica Chastain, this prequel/sequel to “Snow White and the Huntsman” brings us further into the fairytale as the darkness continues to grow around the characters we’re familiar with. The movie isn’t much a visual spectacle and sometimes has a bit too much cheesiness than it knows what to do with it, but the acting power alone should put people in seats for something they’ll most likely enjoy.

Years before he helped Snow White (Kristen Stewart) destroy the Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), Eric (Chris Hemsworth) was once a boy who belonged to a family. Back then, Ravenna was a new Queen and her younger sister Freya (Emily Blunt) was to have the child of a married man. When said man burns the house down with the baby inside, Freya’s icy powers are unleashed and she gathers children from villages in order to train an army. Eric was one of these children, along with Sara (Jessica Chastain), the woman Eric promised his love to. After the mirror is stolen from Snow White’s new kingdom, Eric must get it before anyone else does.

As someone who enjoyed but didn’t love Snow White and the Husntman, I definitely wasn’t opposed to the sequel (The Hunstman: Winter’s War) given who all was involved. Much as I enjoy Chris Hemsworth’s presence, who wouldn’t be stoked for a film with three of Hollywood’s top leading ladies. These women are heavy hitters in the film and each have their own justification for behaving the way they do. They don’t take answers from anyone and are in total control. They’re the most serious characters in the film and all have dark pasts, which make this fairytale much darker than your average story. Worry not though, there’s quite a bit of humor (somewhat misplaced) to keep things lighter.

The Huntsman - Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt rules a majority of the female screen time, as we see her play second fiddle to her queen of a sister, whom also possesses unimaginable power. Despite all that, Blunt portrays Freya as someone who believes deeply in love and doesn’t wish to heed her sister’s advice. When her child is burned the man who fathered it, Blunt’s heart turns cold and icy, as her emotions consume her and leave her in a devastatingly neutral stasis. Theron isn’t as involved in this film, but her moments are certainly more wicked and hateful than we’ve seen and she chews up her scenes with a glamorous smile in tow. The chemistry and bond between the sister’s works well and it’s clear that they are very different people who still find love for one another.

Chris Hemsworth may be the macho man of the group and while he may have the most heroic actions, he’s usually best in a supporting role and that theory seems to continue with this film. He’s a naturally charming lead and his looks and build certainly lend jokes to his character and those around him, but he brings out a joyous side in Chastain’s character which really creates a great spark between them. He jokes and flirts often, and most times she shuts him down, despite doing so with a grin on her face. Chastain is just as tough as Hemsworth, often implanting swords and bow-staffs into her ass-kickery. While certainly tough on the outside. She has shining moments of intense emotion that serve the story and her character well.

The Huntsman

In terms of a cohesive story and one that makes a ton of sense, this film is very uncertain of what it wants to be and what way it wants to go with its narrative. It adopts some fantasy elements and serves up some terrific humor by way of Nick Frost and Rob Brydon as dwarves, but their humor and the scenarios they get in seems like a completely different film than the one which involves an Ice Queen and soldiers. There are some cute romantic moments which are few and far between, but we don’t know too much about these characters to really understand the love and bond they’re trying to convey. The action which sets forth a fair amount of the story is also questionable, as it’s kind of silly and falls apart fairly quick when you think about it.

The Hunstman: Winter’s War is by no means a bad film, nor is it a great film. It’s got some very enjoyable aspects and you’re going to enjoy it in the theater. I’m not saying you’re going to remember much of the film after a few days away from it, but the ladies kick ass and everyone offers up something unique in their performances. It’s kind-of goofy, a little unbalanced, and a tad bit too long, but I’m sure that most people will enjoy it enough to justify going, just as I did.

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