In the epic action-adventure Snow White & the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart (Twilight) plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Oscarr winner Charlize Theron) who is out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth, Thor) who was dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White's beauty and power. The breathtaking new vision of the legendary tale is from Joe Roth, the producer of Alice in Wonderland, producer Sam Mercer (The Sixth Sense) and acclaimed commercial director and state-of-the-art visualist Rupert Sanders.
Definitely not your average retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale, Snow White and the Huntsman is a dark, action-fantasy film that's based more on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale than the well-known Disney version of the story. It features intriguing concepts, impressive special effects, and some disappointingly lackluster acting. The essence of the "Snow White" story is preserved in this recounting: the queen's beautiful daughter Snow White, who is heir to the throne, is displaced and persecuted by an evil stepmother after her mother dies. Here, the evil stepmother Ravenna possesses a disturbing power to maintain her own perpetual youth by stealing youthfulness from the hearts of the young and beautiful, but her magic mirror warns that Snow White's innocence and purity as she comes of age will destroy Ravenna's chance at immortality. When Snow White escapes from the castle prison, Ravenna hires a downtrodden Huntsman to bring her back so that Ravenna can steal her youth and achieve personal immortality. But Snow White runs into a dark and sinister forest where mushrooms disperse hallucinogenic spores, trees come to life, flocks of bats spring from inanimate objects, and dwarves lurk in the shadows. The roles of the seven dwarves and the Huntsman in this version of the story prove to be quite different from the original, but what remain steadfast are Snow White's inner strength and absolute goodness, and her stepmother's innate evilness. This film is full of fascinating imagery that's brought to life through powerful special effects, great costuming, and captivating cinematography--the scenes in the dark forest and the fairy-filled wilderness beyond are reason enough to see it. Unfortunately, the story moves a bit slowly and the acting by Kristen Stewart (Snow White) and Chris Hemsworth (Huntsman) is rather stoical and passionless and lacks chemistry, though Charlize Theron does stand out as a particularly disturbing Ravenna. --Tami Horiuchi