Friday, June 1, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman is emotionally vacant


I wanted to like ‘Snow White and the Huntsman.’

No, actually I wanted to love it.

The previews made it seem like it was going to be so much more than it turned out to be.

Visually, the movie is truly breathtaking. In addition to the knock-out action scenes, there’s a creative feel to the film that I haven’t felt in a long-time.

Whoever the art director and cinematographer were deserve the true accolades for the film.

As for the story? It was pretty good. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either.

I think it’s fair to say that the battle of the two Snow Whites this summer should rest squarely on the side of ‘Snow White and the Huntsman.’ The other entry, the Disneyfied ‘Mirror, Mirror,’ debuted March 30 to decidedly muted buzz despite the Julia Roberts pedigree.

'Mirror, Mirror,' which is reported to have an $85 million budget managed to double that at the box office – but it never really engaged its target audience.
 
‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ is different on a lot of levels.

This film boasts two “it” actors in Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, as well as the always reliable Charlize Theron and Ian McShane. People expected a lot from this acting troupe.

First, the good.

Charlize Theron really is a marvel in the film. Not only does she look like she’s having a ball playing the evil queen, but she pretty much manages to steal every scene she’s in. You actively root against the character, but Theron is so good in the role you can’t help but love her at the same time.

As for Hemsworth, he’s starting to make a name for himself as a solid little actor. I would be remiss to ignore the fact that he’s smoking hot, too. Hemsworth first gained notoriety as Thor, but he manages to take the Huntsman – a role that could have been one-note and two dimensional – and make him likeable and engaging.

He’s kind of like the Aragorn of the film. And, while I do like Hemsworth and expect him to continue in solid roles, he’s still no Viggo Mortensen. In other words, Hemsworth is never going to win an Oscar but he's still charismatic.

That brings us to Stewart. Essentially, I’ve come to the conclusion that Stewart just can't act. At first, I thought that it was the vapid ‘Twilight’ material that was holding her down. I remember seeing her in ‘Panic Room’ years ago and thinking she was going to be something special.

She’s just not, though. Stewart has a vacant way of delivering a line that I thought she was just utilizing for the flat Bella Swan. Apparently, she’s not. Her Snow White is pretty flat, too.

Snow White and Bella Swan are polar opposites. One is a strong heroine who can fight and has the potential to be inspiring. The other is a whiny teenager who only seems to care about whether or not she has a boyfriend.

I was hoping Snow White would be the role to prove that Stewart was going to be more than a teenage movie queen. Sadly, I'll have to learn to live with that disappointment.

I can’t help but wonder how ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ would be better with a strong actress in the role. Jennifer Lawrence would have been perfect. I also think she would have given the script a certain heft that Stewart clearly isn't capable of.

Alas, we’re stuck with Stewart and she does drag the film down.

In the end, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ is certainly worth seeing on the big screen – if only for the visual spectacle it creates.

Also, fans of Hemsworth and Theron won’t be disappointed.

However, in the grand scheme of things, when I want to watch an updated fairytale I’ll just pop the vastly superior ‘Ever After’ into the DVD player.

What did you think? Is ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ the best fairytale adaptation so far or did it fall short?

1 Comments:

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