‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ is the Action Fantasy sequel/spinoff (more of a sequel) to the 2012 film Snow White and the Huntsman with Thor and Furiosa returning, only this time we have gotten rid of Kristen Stewart and added Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain, so win win. To put it simply, this movie really didn’t need to happen, and the only reason it did was to bank off the name and the Hemsworth star-power. But it did happen, and i gotta say, the film really has a great cast, what i thought were just as great characters, but a story that sucks ass. Similar to the way ’50 Shades of Grey’ started off as a fan-fiction to ‘Twilight’, this film is essentially a fan fiction of the animated phenomenon ‘Frozen’ for adults. Seriously, the first 15 minutes of the film in particular i thought i was watching a live-action variation of Frozen… then it sort of goes in another direction and made me wish i was actually watching a live-action Frozen.
The plot was very by the numbers and you can see what is going to happen long before it actually happens. You pretty much know the main beats from the trailer so this isn’t a spoiler at all, but it is even more obvious as you watch the film, that is if you are paying actresses like Jessica Chastain and Charlize Theron to be in this film, you aren’t using them for 10 minutes of screen time. So when the film tries to shock you with some holy shit moments it just doesn’t work, as you know exactly what will happen and what will not. The biggest problem i have with the film’s script is how lazy it felt, they played this thing so safe that it didn’t allow you to actually get engaged with the story at all. And the damn thing is called ‘Winter’s War’…… but if you can tell me where the fuck the war was after watching this then i’ll give you a medal. The most you get here is a few skirmishes, and although the skirmishes were actually quite good, i was promised a WAR, the trailer eluded to the fact that there would be a WAR, and there was nothing of the sort, massive let-down.
The short battles that there are in the film are actually pretty entertaining and for the most part well choreographed, which helped get into those scenes. The CGI was very well integrated into the fight scenes although there was one fight that wasn’t as effective due to the CGI, just an opinion. And as i mentioned earlier, i thought the characters here were all really fun to watch for most of the film and the actors/actresses playing the parts did a fine job, they were all just given a not so good story to work with. Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, all really talented actors and all of them delivered fantastically in playing these characters. I thought not one of them was phoning it in and they all surprisingly put a considerable amount of effort into the film, Hemsworth’s accent came and went a couple times but other than that it was all good.
And for what it’s worth, the side characters i thought were going to be incredibly annoying, useless, and utilised for stupid comic relief that would be unbearable to watch. And as it so happens, they weren’t overly useful, they were there for some added comic relief, but it wasn’t annoying and was actually quite amusing. Nick Frost leads the group of side characters who all provided some small hits of humour and little bits of a lighter tone and didn’t completely take over large sections of the film for stupid comedy. There was even the run of the mill love story between two secondary characters, but here it just happens and doesn’t take up more than a minute of screen-time which is why i didn’t mind it.
So in the end, i went into this film expecting unnecessary garbage all around. But what i got instead was a film with a great cast, great characters, some good fighting, and a touch of somewhat effective humour. All of that however was heavily bogged down by a complete turd of a story that was written by one guy at 1am and then titled by another completely unrelated guy at 3am who didn’t read the script….. I wanted a damn war at least. I guess if you liked the first film you will probably get something out of this one, but otherwise, the good characters will get you through the film okay.