Acting as a prequel/sequel to 2012’s Snow White and The Huntsman, Winter’s War tells the story of how Chris Hemsworth’s Eric became the Huntsman of the title, and gives further back-story to the Evil Sorceress Ravenna (Theron) by introducing her sister The Ice Queen (Emily Blunt).
The plot surrounds something to do with the Ice Queen banning all forms of love in her kingdom and training a bunch of stolen kids who will one day become an elite band of warriors called – you guessed it – The Huntsman. Fast forward seven years and we catch up with Hemsworth who is living peacefully in a land far far away until he’s given a a mission to retrieve a magic mirror before the beloved Snow White croaks it.
Snow White and The Huntsman was a perfectly acceptable film, full of inventive sfx, fairly exciting action scenes and some good performances. It was also a big film with lots of scale, and a large cast. However the same cannot be said of this sequel, which seems to do the complete opposite by merely bringing back Hemsworth and Theron and adding in one or two new actors in a vain attempt to be a bit different. Its also hideously uninspired in the action stakes, which fail on every level to be even remotely interesting and never once give off a palpable sense of originality or danger. I also had a huge issue with Jessica Chastain – a normally very good actress, who is criminally miscast in a role that completely wastes her talents and has her putting on one of the worst Scottish accents since Christopher Lambert in Highlander. Emily Blunt fairs no better given little to do except ham it up something rotten by throwing the odd tantrum and looking evil.
On the more positive side Robb Brydon and Nick Frost provide very welcome comic relief that actually proves to be really funny in parts. Hemsworth in the title role is also very good and once again manages to successfully produce the same effortless charisma that he uses to such great effect as Thor in the Marvel Universe. I cant really say much about Theron – yes she is good as the Sorceress, but really isn’t in the film that much so as to make alot of a difference.
Finally I have a right problem with the films title- (Winters War) – which proves to be only half true as there is a lot of snow and ice – but sadly not a great deal of actual war – perhaps a better title would have been some thing along the lines of “The Huntsman: A Chilly Skirmish”
So in summary i have to say that if you have kids they will probably like it – after all it is a fairy tale – however all proper film fans would be wise to spend their ticket money on something else.
Author: Will Strong