An unnecessary prequel/sequel to its predecessor slog (Snow White and the Huntsman), Winter’s War is lazy, bloated and buries its promising cast in the snow.
In 2012, Snow White and the Huntsman was a complete misfire. Casting Kristen Stewart as Snow White was a mistake along with its problematic script. Never did I think that out of this slog would come a sequel … well I was wrong. The Huntsman: Winter’s War plays as a prequel/sequel and adds nothing new to the clumsy franchise. Nothing felt complete nor fun throughout this fairy tale adventure yet again.
The screenplay (writers Craig Mazin and Evan Spiliotopoulos) felt like a rehash from Disney’s Frozen without the catchy songs. Freya the Ice Queen (Emily Blunt) and her sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron) hate everyone and want to conquer the Enchanted Forest. It’s only up to the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and his secret lover Sara (Jessica Chastain) who can stop them. Theron who kicked ass in Mad Max: Fury Road is completely wasted for her role along with Blunt, who proved her acting chops in 2015’s Sicario.
Hemsworth also squanders as the Huntsman and needs to go back to just swinging his hammer. While the CGI only distracts and doesn’t add structure to the story. Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan loses his footing halfway through the blizzard, hurting this fable from succeeding in every way. It’s eye candy visuals isn’t enough to uphold the film as Winter’s War buries its promising cast in the snow. In the end, this film should have just taken the quick way out and eaten the poisonous apple.
The Huntsman: Winter's War is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For fantasy action violence and some sensuality.