When I first saw this film being advertised showing dark special effects, action based medieval fantasy alongside a start studded line up with a oddly coated huntsman twist, this film set to be a contrary modern take on this well known fairytale, but with the first mention of obvious fair madden Stewart in the realm of things my thoughts delved less into interest and more into whether there was just a very big cash register behind the set.
Unfortunately for Miss. Stewart the negative outcry from the rest of the film world from Twilight leaves this actress in somewhat of a typecast pickle, leaving most film lovers bemused but still curious by the huntsman aspect of the storyline. Fast-forward to my movie seat where my you can imagine my eyes are eagerly on top form waiting to judge.
The film starts with that normal fairytale intro of a king who is recently bereaved goes out with his tropes to protect his kingdom from some strange mystical glass made creatures to then reveal a beauty ‘captured’ by the fleet. So far, so obvious.. minus the glassware. The king then marries the queen after one day of knowing her? To then be killed by her and capture his kingdom due to feminist issues on male control. I still can’t help but feel the script has been cut here.
Fast-forward again to Kristen Stewart character ‘Snow White’ the daughter of the king who was locked in a tower of the kingdom very young and is now a grown woman. The plot explains the queen’s need for young blood to fuel her reign and so the fairytale continues. You know the drill.
Now here’s where (you think) the whole ‘extra’ part of the film comes in; The Huntsman. Snow White escapes the kingdom just when the queen discovers her powers and now needs someone to capture her back from the dark mystical forest that ‘no-one’ can escape unless tried and tested. She calls upon The Huntsman who has nothing more that hunted in this forest previous to Snow Whites escape, and adds nothing more to the film than to then turn against the queen and make sure the ‘fairest’ wins. The original fairytale does contain a Huntsman who falls for the princess charm.. and that’s it, so other than for the purposes of moneymaking I don’t understand the need to try and bring in an extra character into the loop of a well-known story when they don’t even go as far as twist the story completely and fall in love with the main character (instead of with the prince)? If this is meant to be the so-called twist to the film, it nothing other than twisted my arm out of eleven quid.
The storyline rolls on with nothing more than the fairytale itself with a very strange open-ended finale minus a glass coffin, dwarf cottage and a prince. There are areas in this film where you so wish for everything to twist and as soon as it does it is never tied up like a fairytale should, first with The huntsman somehow claiming a main part to a title but then never fulfils the part, and then an odd love affair with a childhood bond that is revealed by Stewart but never goes further and you think to yourself, was that MEANT to be the so called prince?
But have no fear, this slightly tweaked but not so twisted storyline is all done with the use of incredible dark visual art work with glass effects and melting gold, the viewers meeting with old childhood friends the 7 dwarfs, the enchanted part of the dark forest filled with avatar looking fairies, a unicorn made of butterflies, a generous helping of apples and a slightly surprising new tone to Stewarts acting. Just what the doctor ordered for a modern day fairytale.
So with a still lack of confusion with the huntsman addition to the title, loose ends as far as a storyline goes with a combination of a few of those classic vexed looks and glazed passionless glances by Stewart, I feel my superstitions of this film were right, although a little hard on Stewart as her acting tone was slightly different in this film and wasn’t the thing that let the whole thing down, to my surprise.
This film is not as bad for just a purely visually entertaining film and being the complete opposite to the sickly Disney version, but the huntsman idea was not necessary, and as the name implies the obvious content, its not ground breaking, but I’m still trying to figure out whether it did or didn’t mean to be. Twilight fans and older child bearing parentals will still be pleased by this film, but if you’re a film buff looking for a complete re-loop on a classic storyline, you won’t get it here.