Kristen Stewart returns to our screens in one of her few major roles since Twilight – Snow White and the Huntsman. Annoyingly however, it’s difficult not to typecast when she spends the film’s duration giving us that well-known lip-biting, half-interested glum expression all too frequently coupled with an asthmatic, heavy breathing.
Even in fairytales, Kristen continues to play a character caught in a love triangle. The daughter of a King and Queen, Snow White’s mother dies when she is young. Her father remarries evil step-mother Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), only to have the Queen stab him on their wedding night, taking the kingdom for her own and ruling it with her poison. The only one who can challenge this evil rule is Snow White, who for her foreseeable future is locked away in a tower. Already then we have an annoying mixture of Grimm Brothers’ plot lines from Cinderella, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty. Unlike the fairy tales however, this Snow White has balls. Through kick-ass fighting she escapes from her captors, which doesn’t go down well with Ravenna. A beauty none-the-less, but one whose fairness is slowly fading, Ravenna must kill Snow White and take her heart to rule the kingdom forever with eternal beauty. A cat and mouse chase ensues as Ravenna employs an un-named Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to track down Snow White and return her to the kingdom to be killed. Snow White however has other problems – does she choose the unnamed Huntsman, or the dashing Prince William for her love?
Kristen Stewart tries, but you can’t help but feel that her heart isn’t really in it as the vacant stare pops up with increasing frequency. Charlize Theron also makes a good effort as the catty Queen who wants the cream, but becomes a tad tiring after her first hour of shrieking. The other side to the Huntsman/Snow White/Prince William love- triangle is also disappointing due to half-hearted scripting. William (Sam Claflin), spends most of the film with bizarrely little or nothing to say, even when he hasn’t seen his love for over a decade.
It also feels like half-way through production director Rupert Sanders suddenly thought: “Oh no! We forgot the dwarves!” There are oddly eight that feature in total, all with similar cockney personality traits. It’s hard to determine what they add to the film as their roles seem to be thrown in rather than thought through.
Visually however, this film is stunning; with sets akin to Lord of the Rings and breathtaking effects that transport you to a word of magic, fantasy and mystery all at once. It’s just a shame the characters and plot do not contain as much substance as they do style.
Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-UMNSVX7_I