What The Huntsman Lacks in Story it Makes Up in Artistry

The-Huntsman-Winters-War-2.jpgThe Huntsman has easily been one of the most obnoxiously advertised movies of the year. It’s everywhere. But, it still only produced modest numbers opening weekend.

Rather than being a prequel to Snow White and The Huntsman, this movie really spanned the story of before and after Snow White with a focus on Emily Blunt’s character, Queen Freya. Freya is the younger sister of the evil queen Ravenna. Her ice-based powers were unlocked due to tragedy and she has spent the days of the first movie conquering the kings of the north in her battle against love.

Eric, the huntsman, was taken as a child to become one of Freya’s soldiers and served her faithfully until he lost his wife. Enter the Snow White story. Now, the magic mirror is missing and Snow White has charged him with the task of finding it. This classic quest brings him in contact with several humorous dwarves, goblins, and finally Freya.

We can all be thankful that the acting in this movie is astounding. Brought together are some of my favorite actors playing striking characters in killer outfits. That’s my favorite part of this movie. It is truly beautiful. Each outfit has an amazing attention to detail and there are several per character. The scenery, monsters, and castles all live up to this high standard (see the poster above). With great detail, seamless special effects, and just generally beautiful composition.

Often times, I feel fantasy movies miss the mark (LoTR being an obvious exception). They don’t quite transport me to a new world the way a book does. It’s all too similar to just being in the woods or the outfits seem medieval with nothing unique. In this movie, I felt my inner fantasy geek was satisfied. I watched a tale of magical adventures in a far off place. It is clear that the producer ( who did this movie and Maleficent) knows a bit about world creation. But, that doesn’t mean it was perfect.

While the acting, scenery and outfits were on point, I was disappointed in the story line. It felt like I was watching a large number of disconnected plot points with limited character development. It was like watching the outline of a story and not the story itself. This was frustratingly emphasized with sudden changes in moods and tones of Eric.

There were some great battle moments that were awesome feats of special effects, but I didn’t quite feel the epic-ness of the boss fight due to odd camera angles and unnecessary close-ups. And these final scenes lacked tension and build the way any good epiphany should. I fully believe that is a fault of the writers and not the actors, however.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie. Was the plot masterful? No. But, I got to spend a little while in a place that wasn’t here, and really, that’s why I like movies.

Procrastination and Giggles,
The Red Queen

P.S. The best decision they made was keeping Kristen Stewart far away from this movie even if it did make for some awkward transitions. She’s the main reason I didn’t love the first one.