The Hunts­man: Win­ter’s War

No White

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 12A | 117 min­utes

Di­rec­tor Cedric Ni­co­las- Troyan Cast Chris Hemsworth, Char­l­ize Theron, Emily Blunt, Jes­sica Chas­tain

This is the pre­quel/ se­quel to the film that caused a Hol­ly­wood scan­dal back in 2012 – when Kris­ten Ste­wart, who played the tit­u­lar heroine of Snow White And The Hunts­man, was re­ported to have had an af­fair with mar­ried di­rec­tor Ru­pert San­ders. The neg­a­tive press was a shame, re­ally, be­cause the film wasn’t that bad, de­serv­ing more than the in­famy sur­round­ing it.

It’s no sur­prise, then, that Win­ter’s War ditches poor Snow en­tirely, fo­cus­ing in­stead on Chris Hemsworth’s Eric – from his days as a child train­ing to be a Hunts­man to what he does af­ter help­ing Snow White. Back then, evil Queen Ravenna ( a daz­zling Char­l­ize Theron) was de­feated, so this film mostly fo­cuses on her ice- queen sis­ter Freya ( Emily Blunt). Be­trayed by the fa­ther of her child, bro­ken- hearted Freya has de­clared that love be ban­ished from her realm. So when Eric falls in love with Jes­sica Chas­tain’s fel­low war­rior Sara, Freya’s not too chuffed about it...

Add to this a quest to find Ravenna’s magic mir­ror, some Bri­tish dwarves who get all the best lines ( and swear words...) and a few whiffs of Lord Of The Rings; oh, and some truly jaw- drop­ping CGI – one se­quence in par­tic­u­lar prac­ti­cally begs you to stand up and ap­plaud. How­ever, there’s still not quite enough orig­i­nal­ity in the script for it to spring any sur­prises. Freya is far too sim­i­lar a fig­ure to Elsa in Frozen, the twists are all but sign­posted with klax­ons, and you can’t shake the sense you’ve seen it all be­fore. It’s an en­joy­able enough af­fair and looks rav­ish­ing, but it does feel as though some­thing is miss­ing. Snow White, per­haps? Jayne Nel­son

The ru­ins fea­tured in the film are Waver­ley Abbey in Farn­ham, Sur­rey – also seen in 28 Days Later and Hot Fuzz.

“Hey – th­ese twigs look just like my hair!”

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