The Huntsman: Winter's War - Review

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Review - Kimberly Mungle

*In theaters April 22*

Synopsis: As a war between rival queen sisters Ravenna and Freya escalates, Eric and fellow warrior Sara, members of the Huntsmen army raised to protect Freya, try to conceal their forbidden love as they combat Ravenna's wicked intentions.

Review: Fairy Tales are pretty predictable, no one is going to deny that.  The Huntsman: Winter's War is no different, but it does have some redeeming features. 

Queen Freya (Emily Blunt) secludes herself in the frozen North after her sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron) betrays her.  Convinced she will never feel happiness again, she sets out to form an army of Huntsman that will protect and grow her kingdom.  Her army is made up of kidnapped children from villages whom she raises to fight and feel no emotion…until two of her top huntsman (Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain) fall in love.  Their relationship sets off a series of events that will eventually pit Freya, Ravenna, and that pesky “mirror on the wall” in a battle that will surely end in someone’s death.  There isn’t much about the story that is surprising, but then again, most fairy tales are pretty contrived. 

What makes this film worth seeing is the way it looks.  The special effects are realistic and some of the best I’ve seen in this genre.  The gooeyness of the melting people in the mirror is fantastic.  Freya hitching a ride on a polar bear?  Also really nice.  The costumes are dreamy…extravagance at its best…  The whimsy of the forest and all its inhabitants was fun to watch.  And the actors?  Who doesn’t want to watch these four perform?  There are quite a few funny parts too, the dwarfs are anything but politically correct and I found myself laughing at their outbursts several times. 

This film is rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence and some sensuality.  There are a few steamy (literally steamy…like in a hot tub…) love scenes between Eric and Sara (Chris & Jessica).  I’m not complaining but they definitely earned the PG-13.  There is also quite a bit of violence.  This is to be expected considering the nature of the story.  And oh, the goblins are REALLY scary…yikes. 

All in all, I’d give this flick 3 out of 5.  There really isn’t a new story here, no plot twists or surprising endings.  It was a decent follow-up to Snow White and The Huntsman – you’ll get more of the back story and learn more about the huntsman’s background.  It is entertaining though, and looks great.  It was the perfect selection for a fun girls’ night out with my teenage daughter.