The Huntsman: Winter’s War (Movie Review)

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (Movie Review)

On April 22nd, Universal Pictures and Roth Films released The Huntsman: Winter’s War, a follow-up to the 2012 film, Snow White and the Huntsman. This newest film is both a sequel and a prequel to the first movie, telling the history of the Huntsman as well as what happens after Snow White begins her rule. The Huntsman: Winter’s War was the directorial debut of Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, the Academy Award nominated special effects supervisor from the 2012 film, and followed a script co-written by Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Nutty Professor 2008, Hercules 2014) and Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II 2011, Identity Thief 2013). Produced by Joe Roth (Snow White and the Huntsman 2012, Maleficent 2014), the score of the film was composed by multiple Oscar nominee James Newton Howard (The Prince of Tides 1991, The Village 2004) while the special effects were supervised by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’s (2004) Dominic Tuohy and Paul Lambert.

Still from The Huntsman: Winter's War/ Universal Pictures
Still from The Huntsman: Winter’s War/ Universal Pictures

Mostly filmed in the wilds of Surrey, Somerset, and Berkshire, England, The Huntsman: Winter’s War stars many familiar faces from the first flick, including Chris Hemsworth (Thor 2011, Cabin in the Woods 2012), Charlize Theron (Monster 2003, Mad Max: Fury Road 2015), and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead 2004, Hot Fuzz 2007), as well as Jessica Chastain (The Help 2011, The Martian 2015), Emily Blunt (Looper 2012, Edge of Tomorrow 2014), and Rob Brydon (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 1998, Cinderella 2015).

The Huntsman: Winter’s War tells the story of Eric (Hemsworth), the man who would eventually become known as The Huntsman, and how he was orphaned and kidnapped as a child by the heartless Ice Queen Freya (Blunt), sister of Snow White’s evil stepmother, Queen Ravenna (Theron). After a horrible heartbreak, Freya reigns over her country with only one rule: To love is to sin, and the punishment of sin is death. Despite this, Eric falls in love with Sara (Chastain), a betrayal Freya pays back in kind by having Sara killed in front of her lover.

huntsman still 3
Still from The Huntsman: Winter’s War/ Universal Pictures

Seven years later, after the events in Snow White and the Huntsman took place, the infamous Magic Mirror has gone missing, and loner Eric is the only one King William (Sam Claflin) trusts to find it. He sends along two of Snow White’s allies – the dwarves Nion (Frost) and Gryff (Brydon) – to find the mirror before it falls into the wrong hands. Unbeknown to them, Queen Freya has seen this entire exchange and has made a plan of her own.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War was a piecemeal story, jumping around quite a bit to tell the histories of several characters over its 114 minute run. The movie’s title alone is deceiving, since there is no specific war, although there are a few decent fight scenes throughout the film. Queen Freya’s power to turn everything around her to ice cannot help but bring to mind an angry version of Disney’s Frozen (2013). With all of the skipping around in both timeline and character history, the story seems cobbled together and does not flow well at all.

Still from The Huntsman: Winter's War/ Universal Pictures
Still from The Huntsman: Winter’s War/ Universal Pictures

The one saving grace in the film was Charlize Theron. Although she was only onscreen for a few minutes, she steals every scene that she is in. She seems to be the only actor interested in showing her character as anything more than an unsmiling automaton. Even Hemsworth’s sheepish grin could not save the film. Although one could point out that the coldness of the performances was exactly what Nicolas-Troyan was going for to mirror the snow covered landscapes, it is a pretty far reaching point. The CGI was well done for the most part, especially the ice magic. It is certainly not a terrible movie, but it is not a fantastic movie, either. It suffers from the worst affliction a film can have – it is unremarkable and therefor, forgettable. CrypticRock gives The Huntsman: Winter’s War 3 out of 5 stars.

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

For more on The Huntsman: Winter’s War: thehuntsmanmovie.com

Like the in-depth, diverse coverage of Cryptic Rock? Help us in support to keep the magazine going strong for years to come with a small donation.
Tracy Allen
[email protected]

Hiding out in the lonely Quiet Corner in Northeastern Connecticut, Tracy Allen has been an avid horror movie and music fan since she was a young girl. Growing up in the '80s, Tracy has lived through many a change in musical stylings and movie trends, and uses that history to come up with as many colorful, well-rounded reviews as possible.

No Comments

Post A Comment

Cryptic Rock
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons