Project 52: 'Snow White and the Huntsman'
Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 5:26 PM Central
by John Couture
I'm about to give up on humanity.
No, it's not about the Project 52, which I know I'm sorely behind on, but I promise to catch up soon. No, my lack in the human race stems from the inconceivable fact that Snow White and the Huntsman made $155 million at the box office and is getting a sequel.
As Tim said, I guess Thor is the new Channing Tatum. Seriously people, this is an intervention. I don't care if Chris Hemsworth or Liam Hemsworth or the unknown third brother is in a film, that alone does not make the film watchable.
Case in point, Snow White and the Huntsman. You could have had all of the Hemsworth brothers plus a heaping helping of Matthew McConaughey and it still wouldn't make this film even remotely worth wasting two hours of your time on.
Let this review serve as a warning to all others hoping to see a cool, "realistic" (ha!) take on the Snow White tale: keep moving, there's nothing to see here. I'm beginning to think that my Project 52 submissions are just going to be one long litany of public service warnings.
Well, if that's the case, you've been warned.
The hardest part of this review isn't deciding on what to rate it or even how the review will flow. No, the hardest part is trying to figure out what to start with. Well, let's start at the beginning.
What is it with filmmakers' love of people walking through wheat fields? In a shot that could have come straight out of Gladiator, or any other period piece since, the film opens with Snow White walking through a wheat field. It's pretty bad when literally the first shot of the film puts you in a sour mood.
So, from there let's hit Snow White herself, shall we? I don't know what they were smoking, but there's absolutely nothing about Kristen Stewart that screams "fairest of them all." In fact, not only is she vastly overshadowed by the beautiful Charlize Theron in the role of Ravenna, but even Lily Cole as her handmaiden is more ravishing.
Well, until Ravenna sucks the youth out of her that is.
In typical Kristen Stewart fashion, she's barely there and simply spends most of the time staring off into space moping. Supposedly this is the woman who can breathe life into the very Kingdom itself, but I'm having a hard time trying to figure out if she's even alive without the use of a mirror.
It's sort of ironic given Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders and Stewart had a very public affair during the filming of this movie. You would think that some of their shared passion would show up on the screen, but sadly it does not.
Speaking of passion lacking on the screen, the film is jumbled mess in terms of what it is trying to be. Take Charlize Theron for example and the famous milk bath that she takes in the film. Inexplicably, a character who is defined by her beauty and her body's perfection uses her hands to cover her breasts when taking a private milk bath.
Now, I'm not trying to be a pervert angling for a nice view of Ms. Theron's bosom, I could simply throw in any of the other 25 films in which she appears naked if that were the case. Because the studio required a PG-13 rating, this alteration had to be added and all it did was distract the viewer in what should have an iconic scene.
Speaking of Ravenna, I'm confused as to what the filmmakers are trying to say. On one level, they seemingly turn Snow White into a feminist manifesto when they have Ravenna berate King Magnus, and by extension all men, for using women for their beauty and then discarding them right before she kills him.
Now, there a more than a few things things wrong with this reasoning. And hey, I'm all for revisionism that includes a feminist message. I have a young daughter and I want her to embrace strong, female role models in all forms, particularly in film.
However, King Magnus is not guilty of the "male crime" as stated by Ravenna. Quite the contrary, he is loyal to Queen Eleanor until she dies and is not looking for a new queen when Ravenna tricks her way onto his throne.
If that wasn't bad enough, Ravenna is the guiltiest of all characters of her crime because she quite literally sucks the youth out of young women and discards them. Talk about hypocrisy and I get it, she's the evil queen and that's sort of the point, but you can't have your feminism and cannibalism too. At some point, you have to make a choice.
With a running time over two hours, it's at least 45 minutes too long. Look, there's a reason that Snow White works as a children's story and that's because its shortness is perfectly matched with a child's very limited attention span. I mean, there were fairies and a weird stag at one point and this pointless battle with a troll or an ogre or whatever. And the dwarfs didn't even make an appearance until the film was an hour into it.
And speaking of the dwarfs.
Yep, that's Nick Frost, Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins among the eight, yes eight, dwarfs. While we can sit here and bicker about numbers and where the hell they came up with eight dwarfs from, I think the real elephant in the room is that they took full-size actors and digitally put their faces on small bodies.
I mean, really? I don't know why this didn't bother more people. It's a pretty arrogant and simple-minded decision and one that just infuriates me.
Although, I shouldn't be too surprised, it's not like they really took much care with the film itself. Probably the most annoying thing about the film was the lack of continuity, especially when it came to Kristen Stewart.
There's a reason this film didn't get a nomination for any editing awards. They would cut away from Kristen Stewart and her dress would be up on her shoulders and then cut right back and the sleeves would be down. In one scene, she was running an in two cuts her sleeves were down, back up and then down again.
It's next to impossible to take a film serious when it doesn't even pay such little attention to the small things. It's a Cardinal sin to make such silly mistakes, and yet, people still flocked to see it. And yet, they are going to make a sequel of the film.
I weep for our future. If I could give this film anything less than a high card, I would. This film is like folding preflop from the unraised big blind position. Quite literally, the worst move in poker.