Movie Review- Huntsman: Winter’s War

This movie is Disney’s Frozen gone bad, and not in a good way. Set as a prequel and a sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, this movie is the story of Ravenna’s (somewhat lesser evil) sister, Freya (Emily Blunt), who uses her powers to create an army of Huntsmen who are raised as soldiers to aid her ascendancy to that of Queen of the North. Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain find themselves a part of this army and fall for each other. Of course, love is not allowed in evil Elsa’s kingdom and they are separated.

The movie switches to sequel mode set in the time after Ravenna has been defeated by the Huntsman. They find that the magic mirror is a source of great power and has ruined the ‘happily ever after’ ending of Snow White. The mirror must be found and destroyed by the Huntsman. Meanwhile, Freya is in the pursuit of this mirror herself to increase her powers. The rest of the movie continues with the search for the mirror and the “Winter’s War” with the supposedly evil queen, Freya.

It’s average. There is nothing in particular to complain about that is especially bad but aside from the compelling Charlize Theron as the evil sorceress, there is nothing memorable. Emily Blunt is heavily underused. For one, she doesn’t look evil. You see the dramatic make-up and costume of Ravenna and in comparison, Freya comes across as pretty weak. Emily Blunt is a fantastic actor and I would have liked to see her as more dramatic. Unfortunately, in this instance, she gives a lacklustre performance. I understand her character is supposed to be in the grey area but when I compare it to another similar evil queen, Maleficent, I feel disappointed. Chris Hemsworth is perhaps the most disappointing with the terrible Scottish accent that I couldn’t understand through most of the film. Jessica Chastain does her best to save the movie while playing the strong, independent, female protagonist but the script and pace of the movie fails to deliver. It is a slow film that starts strong with an interesting backdrop showing the prequel to the Snow White episode but it soon loses its rhythm and direction. The second act is all over the place with jokes that no one laughed at as the audience desperately waited for the ‘Winter’s War’ to begin. The final act gains pace but feels rushed going headlong into it’s rather unsurprising ending. For me, the depiction of Freya as ‘not so evil after all’ is not justified or explained enough.

Overall, this is a film that wants to be dark but loses its focus as it tries to be ‘Disney’ at the same time. The plot is great but is unfortunately let down by a mediocre script.


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