I have been calling this “Elsa vs Furiosa”, with pretty good reason.
Lets remember what a HUGE disappointment the first entry in this series was, KStew attempting to be anything other than boring fell flatter than her range. Snow White And The Huntsman did have all the makings of an anthem for young ladies of the day; Snow donned armor and went to war rather than cooking and cleaning for the dwarves. It was really all about Charlize Theron, the amazing costumes and special effects lending to her Queenly performance.
Without too many spoilers, I have to tell you guys, The Huntsman: Winter’s War isn’t good. It really, really isn’t. I am completely baffled by how bad it is; the dialog between Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain is painful, and the forced Irish accents the two use make it even more obvious how poorly thought out this film is.
The first five minutes show us the backstory of Queen Ravenna (Theron) and her sister Queen Freya (Blunt), filling in the prequel requirement of explaining why this movie is happening at all. Freya had a lover, Freya had a baby, said lover seemingly killed baby, the anger and anguish awaking the Frozen Queen powers in the previously non-magical Freya. She then goes on her way, leaving Ravenna’s kingdom to form her own, where she takes all the children from the places her army conquers and raises them to be her warrior Huntsmen.
This is where things get trite, because her grand war cry/one law is “No Love”. Yeah, you read that right, “no love” of any kind. So of course this means that Hemsworth’s Eric and Chastain’s Sarah HAVE to be a couple, right? Which, they do, in an incredibly obvious rip off of Game of Thrones‘ Jon Snow and red-head-archer-with-braids Ygritte, right down to the frakking hot springs.
The only thing remotely engaging or entertaining in the 2 hours of recycled fantasy is the dwarves, Nion (Nick Frost), and his half-brother Gryff (Rob Brydon) returning from Snow White And The Huntsman as well as two new lady-dwarves.
Sheridan Smith as Mrs. Bromwyn is fabulous, I could have watched a film just about her and her adventures, rather than what she was in the middle of.
I’m honestly struggling to find a bright point to tell you guys about, because I spent most of the film rolling my eyes and hiding my face, as did the audience in my screening. There is almost zero believable emotion in any of the performances, the world building while at times is lovely (primarily the tiny alien-looking pixies and the woodland animals made of moss) we’ve seen it all before. It felt like whomever designed the production just grabbed familiar settings (Freya’s kingdom resembles Vikings sets but more icy) and expected visuals to finish a poorly conceived prequel/sequel. Yeah, this film is BOTH prequel and sequel, which is bad enough, but to not actually leave the audience with a sense of anything other than “WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT?” is unforgivable.
This film gets a 4/10, because I really like Blunt and Theron on their own, and this SHOULD have been a fabulous turn with the three ladies at the head of the Captain Marvel running (Chastain is always mentioned as a possibility).
The Huntsman: Winter’s War opens in theaters April 22nd, 2016.