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Review & Round-Up: 'Snow White and The Huntsman' Wants To Be Everything It's Not

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood May 31, 2012 at 4:15PM

"Snow White and the Huntsman" made a brave choice with first-time feature director Rupert Sanders, and the result is a muddled riff that wants to be "Lord of the Rings," "Braveheart," Robin Hood," "Willow" and "Alice in Wonderland" all at once. Universal beat the fairytale-revival ‪piñata‬ and this is what came out...

Seattle Times: "In any reasonable Snow-White-vs.-the-Evil-Queen matchup, Kristen Stewart wouldn't stand a chance against Charlize Theron. I mean, really. There's Theron as the Queen, smiling in a way that would put frost on tomatoes, standing there with her regal bearing and fabulous feather-bedecked outfits and slightly contemptuous gaze (conveying "I might kill you, but I might be too bored. Let me decide"). And then there's, well, Bella Swan in a corset. It's not a fair fight, and I suspect the makers of 'Snow White and the Huntsman' know it, but apparently you can't mess with the endings of fairy tales,..[It] left me wishing that Queen Ravenna would head off on a motorcycle with Lisbeth Salander and raise some hell — now that would be a movie.

ThePlaylist: "When discussing how powerful males use women and then cast them aside when they reach a certain age, [Ravenna] might as well be describing Hollywood's hiring process,..[It] is often a visually gorgeous movie, at times genuinely jaw-dropping, but the rest of the film is totally drab,..It's a movie made for children that is often shockingly dark and violent, but at the same time probably too frivolous for adults."

Slant: "Much detail is lavished on the medieval setting, a mud-and-shit-everywhere nightmare that could have easily been imagined by the makers of Game of it destiny that truly empowers the girl or narrative convenience and expediency?...As feminist fantasy, the film is non-committal, and as a reimagining of the fairy tale, it's at best expensive-looking without seeming wantonly so."

Variety: "Handsome but hollow,..The cast does what it can -- especially Theron, whose frequent fits add 'drama' and 'raging' to her regal title -- but can't overcome a degree of flatness to the middle section or lack of consistent excitement at the end. Nor does Hemsworth's roguish charm come across as effortlessly as it did in 'Thor'...The movie and its villain share a common bond: Conjuring a touch of magic is one thing, but sustaining great helpings of it is something else entirely."

This article is related to: Reviews, Reviews, Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Snow White and the Huntsman, Universal, Critics

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.