The Huntsman: Winter’s War
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!”