There’s a scene late in Director Rupert Sanders “Snow White and The Huntsman”— an adaptation of the classic Grimm brothers fairytale — where the seven dwarfs lead ‘the fairest of them all’ and the huntsman into a beautiful place that lives in darkness due to the reign of the evil queen.
As magical fairies lead her through the forest, flowers blossom to life, all of the animals are drawn to her and follow her movements and the sun shines its highest hue. It isn’t until morning comes that the true beauty of this secret garden comes to bloom at the presence of Snow White.
It’s moments like this where “Snow White and The Huntsman” thrive; when the audience gets to explore this world of both colorful beauty and grim, desolate darkness. But it’s with its characters that the film is at its best.
The film finds the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron) in a fit of rage and jealousy due to Snow White (Kristen Stewart) being the fairest of them all, and as a result, orders her to be killed by a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), who, in turn, finds himself enamored by Ms. White and instead helps her defeat the Queen.
The second Snow White adaptation to debut this year, “Snow White and the Huntsman” probably had the most potential out of the two, but unfortunately never rises to the grandiosity and beauty of its surroundings.
It’s more than a little hard to buy into Stewart (forever haunted by the ghosts, er, vampires of “Twilight’s” past, present and godforsaken future) as “the fairest of them all”, especially against magnificent Theron at her most theatrical.
That’s not to say Stewart isn’t a pretty young lady, but she doesn’t carry herself like “the chosen one” that she’s supposedly portraying (also, not to mention the permanent “did someone fart in here?” facial expression).
In fact, the film is mostly carried on the shoulders of Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman character — a brutish and grizzly man haunted by the demons of his past, as well as the seven dwarfs, featuring the comedic likes of Ian McShane and Nick Frost, providing some of the film’s most amusing comic relief.
And because this is a Kristin Stewart film, it wouldn’t be complete without a superfluous love triangle; this time around it’s between her, the huntsman and a young soldier named William (Sam Claflin).
“Snow White and The Huntsman” tends to be messy and, in an effort to not overstay its welcome, comes off rushed at times. But when the film does take the time to survey its surroundings, it’s at its most captivating.
Overall Grade: B-