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Trickery and Deceit: Snow White and the Huntsman is too Grimm for its own good 

Kristen Stewart stars in recent film Snow White and the Huntsman.

click to enlarge snow-white-huntsman-movie-poster-final.jpg
First-time Director Rupert Sanders creates a Ridley Scott-like (see above) vision with a non-stop onslaught of different lands and sets of CGI greatness. There’s an impressive Dark Forest with its twisting gnarled branches, nasty monstrous troll and clams that ooze motor oil. The Enchanted Forest is something altogether spectacular with its fairies, mushrooms-with-bulging- eyeballs and a stag-like creature with tree branches for horns. This is a psychedelic Disney-like fairyland that looks like H.R. Pufnstuf on acid.

The reinventing of the familiar plot has the evil queen (Charlize Theron) holed up in her castle sucking air out of young maidens and plucking out handsome stable boys hearts with her talons. Then there’s a mirror—looking like a big Zildjan cymbal—that tells her she’s still the fairest. When the mirror assigns Snow White (Kristen Stewart) that distinction, the Queen’s sadistic brother (Sam Spruell) is dispatched to find her. Enter dwarfs and you pretty much know the rest.

Then it’s a journey back to the homeland to rally up banished troops to take over the evil castle.

We all know how this will end, with good triumphant over evil, but it’s fun to see how the fable is either distilled or ramped up. Still, this flick is merely a boring quest peppered with adventure for Twilight fans and worshippers of Hemsworth’s hunkdom.

Where as with Mirror, Mirror Julia Roberts was scurrying about spouting ineffective one-liners, Theron emanates evil.

As with Mirror, the seven dwarfs are the main draw. Leaning heavily on the Lord Of The Rings, the dwarfs are played by a slew of barely recognizable actors in flawless CGI-fitted dwarf bodies. It’s a laugh riot to discern British actors like Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Toby Jones and Eddie Marsan through this CGI extravaganza. Still, I liked that Mirror actually employed little people.

Thankfully the love story isn’t handled all mushy and corny as in Mirror. It’s actually about more important things like storming the castle than “let’s make out.”

Huntsman’s slow moving speed is deliberate. Still I can’t help but think there’s an even greater film here waiting to be made. While entertaining, Snow and Huntsman lacks the punch to send it into the level of must-see fantasy. I’m already getting hazy on the memory except for the acidy flashback of The Enchanted Forest.

Snow White and the Huntsman

2 Stars

Starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron,

Chris Hemsworth, Sam Spruell

Directed by Rupert Sanders

Rated PG-13

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