In a year of multiple twos (two Lincoln movies, two musicals), we finally have the second Snow White movie, the other being Mirror Mirror. This one takes a darker tone with Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Charlize Theron as Ravenna, the queen, and Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman. It’s the usual tale, but with much more magic and mystery and a lot less fun and enchantment. It’s an incredible dull movie made only worse by terrible acting and really shoddy technical work.
Kristen Stewart is a terrible actress. I’ve tried to defend her in the past but this movie solidifies public opinion. She always has this look on her face as if she is at all times watching a mouse being fed to a snake. She is so bad in this that they digitally inserted tears on her face. I get that it’s hard for some actors to muster up the waterworks but she doesn’t even look like she’s trying. She just has that pale, dead face. Everyone is giving either their least amount of effort or far more effort than is needed. Charlize Theron is loud, obnoxious and hilarious to watch. Everyone in the audience was audibly giggling at her uncomfortably over-the-top performance.
There is absolutely no chemistry between any of the characters in this film. The Huntsman and Snow White feel like they’re from two separate movies and there is nothing leading me to believe Snow White has any feelings for her long-lost friend from childhood, William (Sam Claflin). The only sexual tension in the film is between Charlize Theron and Sam Spruell, the man playing Ravenna’s brother Finn. Yeah. Incest. Fun. So much of the story feels incidental or shoved in, as if they really didn’t want to make a Snow White movie but felt obligated to throw in dwarves or the poison apple. Especially that apple. I don’t get what it is with these new Snow White movies. Mirror Mirror saved the apple for a lame gag at the end of the movie and here it feels like they forgot about that detail of the story until they were halfway done shooting the thing.
The visual effects here are admittedly pretty great, but you can’t see them most of the time. The cinematography is some of the worst I’ve seen in any movie. I don’t mind “shaky cam,” but this movie looks like it was filmed by Michael J. Fox on a day where he forgot his meds. There are quiet scenes where the camera is flailing about, like they wanted to add action where action wasn’t needed. And when the movie does have action scenes, of which there are very many, the camera zooms in as tight as possible. I literally could not tell what was happening in half of this movie because of how close those scenes were shot. And the score didn’t help either. The score sounds like the score from Inception if Bruce Dickinson told them there wasn’t enough electric bassoon. I never feel ill while watching movies, but the mixture of the visuals and the music in this film made me seriously feel sick to my stomach.
Snow White and the Huntsman feels like an art student with an enormous budget trying way too hard to impress his teacher. It’s an abysmal film and a complete waste of time. This is the closest I’ve come to walking out of a film since The Tree of Life and I am dead serious when I say that.