Before the events of Snow White and The Huntsman (2012), scheming queen Ravenna encourages her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) to also use her power to control other fairytale kingdoms. Due to a tragic event, Freya is gripped by grief and becomes a ruthless queen who trains armies and wins territory. But her top fighters, Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain), encounter love – something Freya has banned – and this sets them on a course of trying to stop Freya.
RATED: M for fantasy violence.
AUDIENCE: If you liked the original Snow White and The Huntsman, you should enjoy this. However, it’s not a particularly inspiring or exciting outing. As a result, most viewers will be inoffensively bored.
WHAT’S GOOD: The strong cast is watchable, particularly charming Hemsworth and stone-cold Blunt. The storyline of The Huntsman: Winter’s War covers events before that 2012 Snow White movie, and after that movie. Yes, that means this is a prequel AND a sequel. Perhaps for the first time in cinema history, one movie is a pre-sequel. So, you know, that’s notable.
WHAT’S NOT: There’s not much to say about this lifeless yet solid prequel/sequel. It’s a by-the-numbers big-budget fantasy adventure that brings the usual battles, jokes, romances and outcomes – in totally expected ways. Also, there are errors of logic and continuity with the 2012 Snow White. When the best thing to be said about a school-holiday movie is “It’s not that bad” or “You’ve seen worse”, that’s hardly overwhelming praise. But those comments are about all that The Huntsman demands.
SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Fairytales have always been chockers with significant ideas about humanity, emotions and relationships. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is nicely fueled by the way that grief, anger, bitterness, resentment and love can shape how people treat each other. Freya is an excellent portrait of how awful life can be when we only want other people to suffer the same grief and loss we have experienced. On the flipside, the “love conquers all” vibe of Eric may cause you to think more seriously about why love is such a powerful force. Check out a Bible passage such as 1 John 4 to better understand how God, Jesus and love are so closely connected that all of our lives should be shaped by their guiding relationship.
RELEASE DATE: Now Showing