The Huntsman: Winter’s War is the follow-up to 2012’s surprisingly good Snow White And The Huntsman. However, there’s been a lot of creative shake-ups since that film scored almost $400 globally. Director Rupert Sanders and star Kristen Stewart are nowhere in sight (it’s best not to ask why) and Chris Hemsworth’s Hunstman is now front and centre in this film from Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, which serves as both a prequel and sequel to the previous film. Charlize Theron returns with Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt join them in this unnecessary fairy tale adventure which lacks some serious punch. It failed to resonate with audiences, grossing just $164 million, a sign that audiences didn’t want another look at Chris Hemsworth’s chopper.
I’d love to get into the plot for this thing, but it’s much too convoluted for its own good. It once again involves a search for a magic mirror and battles between good and evil. Blunt plays an evil ice queen, while Chastain plays Hemsworth’s romantic foil and Rob Brydon joins Nick Frost as a comic relief dwarf. It really wants to be Willow, but sadly it’s more like an expensive version of those cheapie ‘80s fantasy films. A ridiculously long prologue seems to last an eternity and it tries to cover too much information before the tale really begins. It’s the same sin created by the recent Maleficent, which saw Cedric Nicolas-Troyan serve as second unit director.
I really wanted to like The Huntsman: Winter’s War but it lacks originality. The cast has very little to do other than give focus to the sets and it feels like everyone signed-up for a healthy paycheck and the chance to dress-up and be in a fairy tale. It’s all a little boring and although there’s the occasional spark, you know you’ve seen this all before it films with much more verve.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War is another disappointing film which comes packed with great features. You get an extended cut of the film, deleted scenes (they’re all unnecessary), a gag reel and an interesting selection of behind-the-scenes featurettes along with an informative commentary from director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. If you enjoy the film then you’ll love what’s on offer here.