Possible spoilers ahead!
Years before Snow White defeated the evil sorceress Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the Queen brought war to every kingdom, amassing power and fortune. Always at her side was her sister, Freya (Emily Blunt), who is nothing like her sister Ravenna.
But when Freya’s lover kills their newborn child, she discovers she too has a magic ability: control of frost and ice. Armed with her new powers, and she heads North, carving out her own kingdom, a place where love is a sin, and love means death.
Now that she’s the one in charge, Freya starts taking in the orphaned children of kingdoms she conquers, training young boys and girls to fight as warriors in her personal army of “huntsmen.”
“The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is the movie nobody asked for. Winter’s War is a prequel, and a sequel to 2012’s ‘Snow White and the Huntsman.” That movie had a ton of issues, but today it’s probably best known for Kristen Stewart’s affair with director Rupert Sanders. If you saw the 2012 movie, then you know Snow White and her allies came out on top, and that Charlize Theron was easily the best part of the film.
Unfortunately, Snow White’s victory is short-lived, because now black magic haunts Snow White, and its slowly killing her. As a last resort, the new queen is forced to call upon Eric (Chris Hemsworth)for help once again. Of course we don’t see any of this, because Snow White is nowhere to be seen in the sequel, she’s just mentioned a lot.
The whole point of Winter’s War is to reunite Eric nd Sara (Jessica Chastain), two Huntmen who fell in love during training years before. Since they broke Freya’s rule about love, she decided to make an example out of the pair. Hearts were broken, tears were shed, and Chris Hemsworth looked really young without a beard.
What’s sad is that Winter’s War has a top-notch cast, and the filmmakers did little with them. Emily Blunt’s talents are completely wasted on Freya. Due to the death of her child, Freya spends the majority of the movie in an emotionless state, isolated for a good amount of time from the main story and its heroes. You could say Blunt played the part without emotion to play up the ice queen gimmick, but it came off as odd.
Jessica Chastain is decent enough as Sara. She had two of the film’s better fight scenes, but the character (and her performance) are slowed down by a melodramatic arc and a useless twist.
Winter’s War even brings back Charlize Theron’s Ravenna for an underwhelming third-act, that added little to the overall plot. But this time, Theron went over the top with her performance, losing all the good stuff she did in the original. As for Chris Hemsworth, he didn’t bring anything new to the character, except maybe an accent that comes and goes.
To be fair, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” does have a few fleeting moments of fun, and a couple of decent action scenes. But the rest of the movie falls flat thanks to clumsy filmmaking, very cheesy performances, and a script that can’t decide if it wants to be an action film or a melodrama.
Instead of letting us experience event, we’re told everything that happened in a lengthy exposition from Liam Neeson. Instead of a clean continuation, Winter’s War spends too much time justifying why The Huntsman isn’t with Snow White anymore. So much for that kiss I guess.
“The Huntsman: Winter’s War” score: D