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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Full disclosure: I liked this movie. It isn’t perfect by any means, but it is a lot of fun. It is your standard Snow White story where she is cast out of the kingdom by an evil queen, meets some dwarfs, eats an apple, and eventually takes out the queen. Going on, you already have a working outline due to it being a classic story. I suppose that could work both for and against the movie. For me, it was a good thing, because you can then focus and appreciate the different approach the material.
I think part of the reason I enjoyed this movie was of the throw-back feel it had. Honestly, this seems like it came from that wave of fantasy movies from the early 1980s. It is dark and brooding. You have the innocent, yet strong heroine, the handsome, noble prince (in this case, a duke), and the charming rogue with a heart of gold. There is an evil sorceress queen who is evil for the sake of being evil. Even the sets have a certain weight and tangible quality to them (though, I am certain a heavy amount of CGI was used in the film as well).
The performances are also fairly strong. Kristen Stewart works as Snow White (despite the wobbly English accent she is attempting), and Chris Hemsworth is always fun to watch. The dwarfs, who are somewhat limited in screen time, are cast perfectly with the likes of Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, and Bob Hoskins among others. The real star of the movie, however, is Charlize Theron. Oh, my goodness. She is fantastic. She completely throws herself into the evil queen role and is a delight to watch.
Not everything works in the movie. It somewhat drags in the middle (with a completely superfluous sequence at a lakeside village), and the attempted romance storyline is never fully resolved (though, maybe that was the point). The film also has two major plot holes which are never given any sort of hand-wave cover-up. One of which being why the evil queen, after taking over the kingdom, doesn’t kill Snow White at the beginning when there is no reason to keep her alive. The other deals with the famous apple scene where the evil queen finds Snow White with little difficultly despite no way of knowing where she was. However, these two don’t ruin my enjoyment of the movie (and it is also kind of nitpicky). Both need to happen in order to push the story forward; it just a shame they didn’t try to cover it up.
In the end, I enjoyed Snow White & the Huntsman. I know I’ll probably get some flak for that, but I thought this was a slick movie, with some awesome visuals and an appropriately dark and occasionally frightening atmosphere. It worked for me.