THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER'S WAR Movie Review by The Commander


3 (out of 4 stars)


Ever since I was a child I loved fairytales; the simpler the better.  You know, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?  A simple story.  An evil jealous queen pursues Snow White (who is prettier than her) who hides out with the Dwarfs, while the queen prepares to feed her a poison apple putting her in a deep sleep until she is awaken by true love’s kiss.  This wonderful fairytale was actually made into a movie in 1937 (animated).  The story has stood the test of time.  The original (color-enhanced) version is still available today (at your local Disney outlet). 


But why leave something so special alone without putting a Hollywood ‘enhancement’ on it?  As they say, “everything old is new again.”


So in 2012, Hollywood created Snow While and the Huntsman, probably due to the success of the TV series, Once upon a Time, where many fairytales come alive.  An adaptation of the original with new characters added, great special effects and costumes was a $170 million gamble that paid off with an almost $400 million worldwide box office payout.  So it’s obviously time to see if lightning strikes twice—and like most successful Hollywood movies, they created a ‘prequel’ to the movie called, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” (maybe they borrowed the idea from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was also a big box office hit). 


This film is basically a continuation of the prior film, utilizing the same characters, dropping a few, and adding some others.  However, it’s still the same basic premise.  A love story.  Two young lovers, Eric and Sara (Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain), separated by the evil ice queen, Freya (Emily Blunt), reunite later in life to overthrow the queen and her very evil sister, Ravenna (Charlize Theron).  There’s always an evil sister, bringing peace and harmony to the Kingdom.  Add in a few Dwarfs full of wisecracking humor and you’ve got another hit movie… hopefully.


There wasn’t a lot of continuity for all of the characters from the first movie—like the queen’s evil brother, and of course Snow White (who only received an honorable mention), but it doesn't matter, at least not to me, because remember this is a fairytale.  I could say that this is kind of a ‘chick flick’ since it’s predominantly a female-driven cast, with the exception of the Huntsman, but the story overall works.  There aren’t any surprises regarding the story or plot—we all know who’s the evilest, meanest queen in the land.  This is simply a story about losing love, writing wrongs and loving again.  Everyone lives happily ever after, isn't that what fairytales are all about?


While it may not sound like I enjoyed this movie, I thought it was entertaining, warm (even though it was about an ice queen) and enjoyable.  I thought there was just enough humor, which kept me smiling, and the story was a wonderful fairytale that reminded me of my childhood, which is probably why I liked this movie so much, whereas other critics really didn't care for it (I wonder what kind of childhood they had?).  So if you’re on a date, want to brighten up your day, or just want to reminisce about your childhood, then go see this movie.  The costumes are breathtaking, the effects are wonderful, and the actors do a wonderful job.  It’s a movie that won’t disappoint young or old.  Probably because it’s a fairytale! 

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