So when news came my way of The Huntsman Winter’s War I chose to give it a shot.Nerdist had the opportunity to sit down with Hemsworth and Chastain and talk to them about bringing their characters to life, the extensive training that was involved with their roles and, of course, their delightful chemistry.
To take over various lands – for no apparent reason other than being constantly irked – Freya recruits and trains an army of huntsmen, including young warrior lovebirds Eric (Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain). When Sara falls for the strapping Eric (a returning Chris Hemsworth, still charming and rugged and wielding an axe as though it were a certain hammer), there’s frozen-over hell to pay. And it reflects poorly on those who made it. The carnage is all the more grisly when considered in the context of the film’s narrative, which exists largely to cross Snow White with that most lucrative of contemporary fairy tales: Disney’s Frozen. OK, he wasn’t much more in 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman.
Theron also had to deal with a different kind of crush situation, this time with her 4-year-old boy, who fell hard for Blunt’s Queen Freya. Bromwyn casts appreciative glances Eric’s way, and a less-blinkered story might have entertained the possibility of a union between the two, but this movie isn’t The Huntsman and the Dwarf. I loved the first movie, I’d love to work with you – but I’m not interested in playing the wife who sits at home and cheers you on. Overall, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” feels like a movie that didn’t need making, but at least it justifies it existence.
That’s also true in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, which reaches back to a time before there was a Snow White (who’s referenced but unseen), but this installment is in more slavish service to the admittedly slick special visual effects.
“Huntsman” improves on its predecessor, “Snow White and the Huntsman”, by eliminating Kristen Stewart’s wan Snow White from the picture, but it shares with that film one big problem: Theron is fantastically perverse as a baby-killing villainess who is gorgeously outfitted in evil couture, but she’s barely in the movie.
“There is another story, one you have not yet seen”, a narrator explains (threatens?) at the outset. Then there’s a tragic death – or is there? – and the movie skips ahead to after Snow White and the Huntsman’s happy ending, when Eric is told that Ravenna’s malevolent magic mirror has gone missing and must be retrieved and disposed of, One Ring-style. Sure, Sara does kick some serious ass, and the two dwarves Nion (Frost) and Gryff (Brydon) do provide for some comic relief, but by and large, there is a sense of a lack of an emotional connection when it comes to the characters.
Tonally, the film can’t make up its mind much either. Too bad there is so little time spent with the two of them together.
“The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is one of the most boring films I have seen in all of 2016 so far.
To make the break with the original film even cleaner, the Snow White character was eventually scrubbed from the sequel altogether.