The classic fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is given a modern day makeover in Rupert Sanders' adaptation of "Snow White and the Huntsman" starring Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman and Charlize Theron as Ravenna, the evil queen. The film keeps the best themes of the classic fairy tale in place (we all know Snow White is the essence of purity while the Queen is the essence of evil), all the while exploring a never before side of Snow White's inner strength and the Queen's struggle from within.
The film opens with a splendid battle sequence where Snow White's father King Magnus (Noah Huntley) defeats the army of evil, faceless forces. At the end of the battle he finds a prisoner kept by the enemy, a beautiful woman he falls in love with, takes home and makes his queen.
Fast-forward 10 years and Ravenna has murdered the king, taken control of his kingdom and imprisoned the lovely Snow White. Aided by her wicked step-brother Finn (Sam Spruell) the queen uses her own blend of dark mysterious magic (by aide of the magic mirror) to keep her kingdom under control and to keep the dwindling supporters of King Magnus at bay led by Snow White's childhood friend William (Sam Claflin).
After Snow White escapes her imprisonment, Ravenna sends a widowed huntsman after her. However, the Huntsman falls for Snow White and becomes her mentor and protector through their journey in the dark forest where they encounter Ravenna's deepest forms of magic, seven dwarfs and Finn's endless pursuit.
Reviews on this movie have been as varied as the colors of a rainbow, and it is truly one of those films that movie watchers will either love or hate.
The good. The retelling of the classic tale is done in an original, clever and imaginative way. The scenery and art direction is breath taking, and the introductory battle engages you immediately into the story. Theron is absolutely scary and believable as both a beautiful queen and as the evil witch that lies beneath. The casting of Stewart, which was probably meant to reach the Twilight audience, turns out to be a pleasant surprise, as the young actress continues to show her growing acting chops as she pulls off a spirited performance. The depths of the two female characters are richly told and are realistic characters.
The bad. As believable as the female characters are, the male characters disappointingly fall short. The movie opens up with a tear-jerking scene between a young Snow White and a young Will leading you to believe that this relationship will be key to the story line. However, the adult Will is not given enough depth or screen time to make him a believable character nor is his relationship with Snow White developed very well. Hemsworth is wonderful eye candy as the Hunstman, but he too lacks depth and the end of the movie leaves a lot to the imagination of the audience, as story lines are not fully explained.
Overall the film is an entertaining summer film that fans of the fairy tale should go see. Parents should know that the film is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and one brief scene of sensuality.