Artistic license is a great thing. New takes on old classics can be refreshing and entertaining. That being said, the changes made to this version of Snow White are void of reason. Bringing warfare and a love triangle to this fairytale, Snow White and the Huntsman is quite pointless. It’s a long and arduous journey getting to the end of this unsatisfying tale.
Snow White has been changed from a story about the pitfalls of jealousy and the nature of being vain and turned into a revenge flick. While the evil Queen still wants to be the fairest of them all, her real goal is immortality and keeping her magical powers. Besides making a fully fledged, main player of the Huntsman, the film garners the Queen with a back story. I don’t need to know why she’s an insufferable bitch; the mystery alone is more powerful than a flashback that technically should make me feel a little bad for her. Why give an audience the chance to justify her madness?
In changing the story around, the Huntsman helps Snow White escape instead of just cutting her loose, the Queen has a twisted (possibly incestuous) albino brother, there are eight dwarfs, and a whole slew of other kinks and adjustments. In this heavy overhaul where even the dwarfs have proper names–like Gus–why couldn’t they give other characters names? The Huntsman and the Queen both have lifelong woes of misfortune and loss that are meant to beef up their character, so why not give the Huntsman a name?
Everything in the film seemed geared toward making it safe for Snow White to wear armor and swing a sword that too many tiny details slipped through the cracks. It’s imperative that Snow White (near the end) has every man understand that they must set off and attack the Queen, immediately — yet someone had time to corn-row the sides of her hair before they rode out. Little things add up, if you let enough of them slide, they’ll all pile up, blocking the view.
The only good thing about this movie are the dwarfs. Sure, they weren’t real dwarfs, but look at the knockout line-up playing these time-bandit-ruffians: Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Ray Winston, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, and Johnny Harris. The extra dwarf, Gus, is played by the younger Brian Gleeson, but if you look quickly, he looks a little like John C. Reilly, adding to the greatness of this ragtag group of masters. The movie progresses slower than a fart fighting its way out of a snake’s digestive system–so by the time the dwarfs show up, you practically forget they are part of the story.
When you change such a well known story, those modifications should make the moral more powerful, or more pertinent. Instead, Snow White and the Huntsman changes things because someone thought it would be cool. This film is nothing more than a few interesting visuals and Charlize Theron giving a masterclass on the art of extreme over-acting – and it never seems to end. Go see some dwarfs and call it one, if that’s enough for you.
Rating: 2 out of 5 ‘Staches