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Snow White And The Huntsman Review

Director: Rupert Sanders

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Johnny Harris, Brian Gleeson

Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 127 minutes

Synopsis: The evil Queen Ravenna (Theron) plots to murder her stepdaughter Snow White (Stewart), who is destined to surpass her as ruler of the kingdom.  Sending the huntsmen known as Eric (Hemsworth) after her, the Queen plots to cut out and consume Snow White’s heart in a bid for immortality.  But she hasn’t counted on the Huntsman & Snow White forming an alliance…

With the recent MIRROR MIRROR leaving an unfortunate taste in one’s mouth, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this latest Snow White adaptation/reinvention/re-jigging may have come too soon. However, unlike the sickly sweet MIRROR MIRROR, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN leaves an entirely different taste altogether – not necessarily a good one, but different at least.

The film is an entirely bland affair – there’s not much here that we haven’t seen before. Supposedly-invincible CGI armies? Check. Evil Queen and her equally evil underdog brother? Check. A by-the-books storyline in which a defenceless, broody princess is capable of leading an entire army into battle despite spending most of the film in constant need of rescue? Double Check! Essentially, it’s a film that borrows, begs, and steals from every other fantasy movie of the last two decades, mixes it all together in a cauldron, and throws it onto some celluloid.

The biggest influence is clearly Tim Burton’s equally bland and unimaginative ALICE IN WONDERLAND from 2010 (no surprise there, since both films were produced by Joe Roth). This influence does SWATH very few favours. Whilst visually it’s a well-shot piece of cinematography (despite plenty of very wonky CGI whenever mystical animals or dwarves are involved), the story is nothing new – no twists, no turns, and not much in the way of pace, clever gags or originality. Things pick up in the second half once the eight Dwarves are introduced (no guesses as to why there are eight of them as opposed to seven!), but the lack of originality still infuriates as the film reaches its rather sub-par climax.

The central performances are a mixed bag too – Stewart is a charisma vacuum, devoid of any kind of emotion, capable of only three indistinct facial expressions, and completely unable to even smile when required to. Meanwhile Charlize Theron, whilst not as hammy in the role of the evil Queen as Julia Roberts was in MIRROR MIRROR, still gives an over-the-top performance, her lines delivered AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS SO AS TO APPARENTLY PORTRAY HOW WICKED SHE IS!!!!!  GAAAAAAHHHHH!!!! That said, Chris Hemsworth as the titular Huntsman is fantastic, all roguish scowl and bad-ass attitude, whilst the actors playing the dwarves (and especially Brian Gleeson as the sweet and innocent Gus) play their parts well, even though their each lumbered with very little to do.

So it’s no MIRROR MIRROR, praise be to the great film gods of ye’ olde!  But it’s still nowhere near perfection. If MIRROR MIRROR was the desert that made you feel sick, then SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN is the bland digestion pill you take to feel a tiny bit better. But not that much better. Best rest up and avoid eating solids for a few days, eh?!


 SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN arrives in UK cinemas 30th May


From an early age, Matt Dennis dreamt of one day becoming a Power Ranger. Having achieved that dream back in the noughties, he’s now turned his hand to journalism and broadcasting. Matt can often be found in front of a TV screen, watching his current favourite shows such as DOCTOR WHO, GAME OF THRONES, SHERLOCK, DAREDEVIL, and THE WALKING DEAD, though he’s partial to a bit of vintage TV from yesteryear. Matt also co-presents the Geek Cubed podcast, which you can download from iTunes. It’s quite nice.



  1. Jane

    May 28, 2012 at 7:41 am

    You lost all credibility the moment you called Kristen Stewart emotionless. Good job dude. Pretty sure she was able to convey about ten different emotions in the trailers and tv spots alone. You probably didn’t even see the movie;)

  2. WTF!!!

    May 28, 2012 at 10:13 am

    What’s wrong with this article. This article is so rubbish. Kristen Stewart is so fucking talented and amazing actress. I am not really twilight fan but Kristen performance is very good in all her movies. I always think she is better young actress than anyone else.(sorry english is not my first language)

  3. Matt Dennis

    May 28, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Everyone’s entitled to an opinion guys, thanks for the comments. For your information, I did see the film at a Press Screening at Odeon Leicster Square (I have witnesses). As for Stewart, I’m sorry, but in my own personal opinion, she plays every role exactly the same – in a monotone, boring manner! She looks as though she doesn’t want to be there half the time. There are much better young actresses out there (Chloë Grace Moretz and Jennifer Lawrence to name but a few) and Stewart (in MY opinion)is nowhere near as good as them.

  4. John Sharp

    May 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I must agree with the author, there. Of course there can be no right or wrong when judging art (which acting is) as it’s all objective. But in all fairness, she has two expressions. Comatose and slightly less comatose.

  5. Tom Fordy

    May 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Uh-oh. Someone’s angered the Twi-Hards.

  6. Siobhan

    May 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Another good review Mr Dennis. All I will say in my opinion about acting is that I have seen Plank from Ed, Edd and Eddie would have given a better performance in this role Ms Stewart. But I will give credit where credit at least she sticks to what she knows playing a girl who, runs through some woods being a very bad damsel in distress….

  7. Ryan

    May 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    While I’m not a big fan of the newer generation of actors & actresses, the media trying to continue the facade that this girl doesn’t show any emotions when we can clearly see she does just from the trailers of her smiling & looking scared sad shocked & all the above its getting ridiculous. As for Charlize the Queen is obvious OTT which she is suppose to be. Now that I’ve said that I will wait for the legit critics (Ebert).

  8. Jack

    May 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    If you are always comparing a young actress with other actresses (that you like better) you are always going to be giving a very bias review. That, Matt, is unprofessional.

  9. Lisa

    May 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I think Charlize is way over the top as the queen. I much prefer the subtleties of Kristens performance. You do not need to be loud or in your face to give a convincing performance.

  10. Henr

    May 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Chloe and Jennifer are ugly, though. You have to be good looking to be a film actress, sadly. Kristen Stewart is so captivating on screen. Her skin is perfection. Her subtle acting will preserve her good looks, anyways. Love ya KStew.

  11. JR

    May 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I’d have to agree with the people who said this reviewer is bias. The reviewers spews the same exact hate all the haters spew… but fortunately, he is in the extreme minority with his so called opinion. It’s too bad that he tries to pass himself off as a professional – when he hasn’t a clue as to what objectivity means. Your hate is unbecoming – maybe you should pass reviewing on anything in the future when you’ve already concluded something before seeing it.

  12. Brain

    May 28, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Your response to these comments sounds exactly like some of the internet trolls hating on Kristen. I’m not surprised if you are indeed one of them. While director Rupert, Chris, Sam and especially Charlize Theron praised her for her hard work and dedication, your comment about “not want to be there” is just completely rubbish. When you failed to mention how perfect Kristen’s English accent was and how perfect Charlize was in villain role that many reliable critics majorly agreed, it’s so obvious that you are not her fan. You sound like a nasty, angry person who has just been dumped by a smart girl. Your review sounds rubbish and childish. Maybe you should take a look at THR to learn how to write professionally or you should take your own advice taking some pill and relax.

  13. Randy Roddy Vegas

    May 28, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Team F*ck Twilight.

  14. John Sharp

    May 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Let’s keep this civil, shall we guys.

    Dear, sweet BRIAN. I think you telling someone to relax is a little like Josef Fritzl calling someone a bad parent. If you disagree with the review, that’s great. We encourage debate. But Matt’s review is well informed, funny and enjoyable to read.

    JR I think you’ve missed the point of reviews. A journalist will watch a film and then discuss it. He isn’t a ‘hater,’ he is a writer with an opinion. If you think anyone who disagrees with your own opinion is a ‘hater’ then you will find it very hard to function in society.

    HENR if you think Jennifer Lawrence and Chloe Moretz are ugly, you may have a skewed opinion on looks. If they’re not your type, fair enough. But I suspect they’re going to be have a glittering career and be admired by girls and boys for their talent as well as their looks.

    SIOBHAN you damn right. Plank would have been less wooden.

    Please continue, everyone. And Matt, keep’em comin’ x

  15. Dan Bullock

    May 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Whatever people think of any actress or actor, Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Kelly Brook…reviews and opinions are exactly that from the person who saw it.

    What annoys me most isn’t the fact people are defending Kristen, which is a highly plausible situation, given she is a rising star still, what’s more annoying is that people turn to personal attacks on the individual writing.

    Matt’s views are what he feels from the screening and possibly biased but doesn’t that make other views saying she’s ‘perfect’ just as biased as well?

    Personally, I haven’t seen this yet but I’m more eager to see what she can do in a proper film…I’m talking On The Road and then I’ll judge her properly. Much like Pattinson for Cosmopolis, actually testing himself beyond the usual.

    Jennifer Lawrence is pretty decent as an upcoming actress but does play on her Winter’s Bone (excellent) character for The Hunger Games which was vastly underwhelming BUT maybe this is a generation thing, let time be the test…

  16. Amy

    May 29, 2012 at 11:30 am

    You have a right to your opinion about Kristen Stewart, Matt. It’s just that it’s not an opinion I really respect. Clearly, it’s not true that this actress shows no emotion, or even little emotion. She smiles, laughs, cries, screams and, yes, she has been quiet and understated when the role called for it, i.e. Speak. If you think Chloe Moretz and Jennifer Lawrence are better actors, great. I like them, too. However, I haven’t seen Chloe go through this great range of emotion. In fact, she’s usually pretty morose and vulgar, especially for a young girl. Also, Jennifer Lawrence has about two facial expressions that she pulls out every time she’s in a movie. That doesn’t mean they’re not good actors. Sometimes the roles they’re in don’t call for a great deal of emotional range.

    This Snow White has been locked up for seven years. She’s escaping to save her life and proceeds to get hunted down again by Eric. Then, she finds out she has to go to war with her stepmother. So, all the fear, resignation, happiness around the dwarves, determination, reluctance, etc, that I saw on her face…those weren’t emotions? I don’t get it. There was nothing praiseworthy in her performance? I don’t agree. So, I’ll know who not to go to as a critic for advice. We probably won’t agree on much, but thanks for your opinion!

  17. Matt Dennis

    May 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I’m glad everyone is so passionate about this. The reason for writing articles and reviews (for me personally) is to inspire opinion and debate.

    Firstly, Amy, thank you, at least someone recognises that this is MY opinion, and that everyone else is free to see the movie and form their own individual opinions!

    Secondly, I’d like to add that OK yes, Kristen Stewart does tr and emote, but the problem is I never believed her! Not once. Hence what I’m saying in the review about her being emotionless! Now that you remind me, her English accent is very good, I will give you that, sadly it’s everything else she does that I disliked.

    Thirdly, BRAIN! You have a go at me for not agreeing with what other critics are saying?! Are you saying you’d rather I conformed to what everyone else is saying, repeat everything they’ve already said, and basically be the film critic equivalent of a Parrot? I don’t understand you, sir!

    JR, as Mr. Sharp oh-so-brilliantly put to you, I saw the film THEN wrote the review, not the other way round. Everything I wrote here is based off my thoughts and opinions when I left the screening, not my assumptions as I went into the screening (I had no assumptions of the sort anyway).

    And finally, again BRAIN! I haven’t been dumped by anyone, and the fact that you have to resort to making assumptions about my personal life in order to make a point (whatever the f**k that is) is very unbecoming. And you say I’m childish?!

    I’d also like to add that Kristen Stewart’s performance in Panic Room is pitch-perfect. See, I’m not a total Stewart hater as some of you seem to think, just because I gave her a bad review in this one film.

  18. JessK

    May 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Her subtle acting will preserve her good looks, anyways

    I…someone clarify this for me: is this comment implying that KStew will stay pretty for longer because her ‘subtle acting’ (read: lack of facial expressions) won’t give her wrinkles or laugh lines or frown lines? Is that really what just happened here?

    I like generic action adventure and CGI monsters, and I even like KStew when she’s not being in Twilight, so I’m going to reserve judgement until I’ve seen this movie. I also like Chris Hemsworth rather a lot, so I’ll probably enjoy it even if it is terrible.

  19. Robert

    May 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I haven’t seen it yet (obviously), but based on this review it going to be pretty much what I’ve been expecting. I do appreciate the different take on Snow White and the tone they’re going for, but I’m not too big a fan of Kristen Stewart. Nor did I take too well to Charlize Theron delivering some of the dialogue in the trailer at the top of her lungs, as it was kind of grating on my ears. However, those are two fairly minor quibbles which I’m sure will be balanced out during the full course of the film.

  20. dani

    May 30, 2012 at 3:40 am

    I’ve never read so much craziness in my life like in this comments board. It’s like Kristen stewart is some kind of religion! f-king insane!

    “but in my own personal opinion, she plays every role exactly the same”
    I agree with Matt Dennis, she is always the same because instead of turnig herself into her characters, she turn her characters into her.

  21. BRAIN

    May 30, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Why do I have a feeling that John Sharp is the one and only Matt Dennis? Or is he the co-writer of this story?

    Surely, everyone has his/her own opinion. An idiot, an asshole, a pervert… can just throw their opinions on this story for their boredom. But when you, Matt Dennis, call yourself a “reviewer,” FORGOT to mention how perfect Kristen’s accent and had no opinion about Charlize’s performance. You are either a lousy employee or just another internet troll who happens to be a reviewer. I respect that each film critic has the different viewpoint and interpretation. I could accept the worst criticized review but use your argument, Matt. Point out what these actresses did well or what they did bad in which the crucial scenes; what are your expectation and point of view …. I read a lot of movie reviews and yes, I read a lot of funny ones too, John Sharp. They can be funny but informative and well-written at the same time. If you want to convince readers with your write-up then you must do better job other than “Everyone has their own opinions”. That’s the different between serious writer and gossip blogger. Anyway, please don’t throw tantrum and don’t use the F word, if you wrote in that kind of tone and word, then expect people to comment in the same.

  22. John Sharp

    May 30, 2012 at 10:17 am

    JESSK I agree with your comment that Kristen Stewart staying pretty because of her ‘subtle acting’ is a mental idea. But I fear it’s been surpassed by BRIAN and his general lack of, well, sanity? Let’s go with sanity.

    Oh BRIAN. Dear, deluded, confused, furious little BRIAN. You think that Matt and I are one and the same because we happen to agree with one another? Do you ever actually leave your house and engage with real life people? Or has the constant glare of your monitor burned your retinas to the point where the pain has driven you mad?

    Let me clarify, ickle Brian. Matt and I are different people. We have the same glasses and similar opinions on a lot of things, but we differ in the sense that we aren’t the same person. Also, I didn’t co-write this review, I merely enjoyed it. If you didn’t, BRIAN, dear sweet belligerent BRIAN, that’s okay. But Matt is not a troll, he is an INFORMED, good natured chap who happened not to like this film. No matter how good Stewart’s accent is, it seems unlikely to make a bad film better, much like a bad accent can’t make a great film worse, Mary Poppins for example.

    The point is, BRIAN, that if you assume someone is a troll because they don’t like Kristen Stewart’s performance in a particular film, you are incorrect. You are stone cold wrong. That’s not opinion, that’s a fact, Jack.

  23. JessK

    May 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Wow, Brain, take a deep breath there, buddy. If you could only make the effort to actually read Dennis’ review you’d note that he did actually point out what these actresses ‘did bad’ – failing to emote for KStew and delivering every line with an OTT bellow for Charlize. He also points out that this movie does, in fact, meet expectations. The only problem is that they’re the sort of cliche expectations that appear in every fantasy movie these days.

    I realise your KStew-shaped tunnel vision makes this hard to accept, but alas, a pretty face and a great pair of legs does not a brilliant actress make. Nor, for that matter, does a “perfect” accent – if indeed she can keep up the same accent for an entire movie. But hey, I shoud bloody well hope she can, after all, even I can do perfect accents and I’m no actress.

    Again, take a moment to actually read Dennis’ review and you’ll find he’s not entirely critical of the film – Chris Hemsworth gets a good write-up, as do the dwarfs, and he does note that the film is “a well shot piece of cinematography”. That, sir, is professional film reviewer speak for “it looks pretty” in case you actually just didn’t understand the parts of this review that employed professional jargon.

  24. John Sharp

    May 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    JessK, I salute you 🙂

  25. debeebambino

    May 31, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I literally cannot believe a scriptwriter got paid 3.2million for that!! the characters were all under developed, there was no real story line, it was rubbish….where to start? the love triangle was non existent it lacked any romantic emotion or sexual tension, i didnt believe any of them cared about each other let alone there be any love, the dwarves were barely on screen so when one of them has a “problem” (shall we say so as not to ruin it for anyone) you don’t really give a hoot, the queen altho she was evil did not have enough presence or screen time for the story to really have a worthy villian, a villian needs to be more prominent through out, the second act was too long and boring, and overall there was barely any dialogue of substance through the entire thing!!…infact…barely any dialogue, that script must of any hit 90 pages if that…yet somehow became 2hrs…poor, poor, poor!! more money in hollywood than sense!! i give it 2 stars for visuals and thats it!!…which is only a nod to the CGI guys really!! The trailer is the only good thing about this film!!!!

  26. BRAIN

    May 31, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Dear LITTLE-temper John Sharp, my user name is BRAIN not Brian. I’m not surprised if you’ve ever misspelled some actors’ names in your stories. FYI, I’m not one of some fat, jobless 30+ women or some teenagers who stare at the monitors and drool over Robert Pattinson’s ass with the hope one day he is going to ask me out. (If that what you implied about being deluded and confused). So, your passive-aggressive doesn’t work for me. I don’t deal with that. But to be honest, it is very funny to see how angry you are. I just accidentally left this tab open and wanted to check it out. If you don’t want people critically judge your work, then I suggest to get rid of the comment section. Otherwise, take it like a real MAN. (OMG, I stop laughing). Your name calling thing is very very high school.

    I can’t believe your whole staffs joined in this debate. Let’s see, Matt Dennis, John Sharp, Tom Fordy, Dan Bullock. I’m an avid movie goer. I understand your memo. Here, let’s write some sh!t about Kristen’s next coming up movie. Then Tom Fordy mentioned about angering Twi-hard and let’s make a hit comment on this post. Matt Dennis even went on twitter to ask followers to join in. Look, it’s SO OLD. It doesn’t work that way anymore. Fans, they know more facts than you guys do, but that doesn’t make them biased. I understand that your site’s benefit based on the readers visit traffic, but with this kind of bashing report, no one is going to visit your site again. I know I will not. BTW, I am not Kristen’s fan. I like to watch few actors and she and Charlize are two of them. I never said that her very good English accent makes this movie good. My complain was Matt’s report lacked of information. If you want your site to be a reliable source then your reviews should be thorough and detailed. My comments were about two female leads, but all your responses came back to Kristen, which verify your purpose of this post was more about Twihards hit. Anyway, she had very good reviews for her roles in The Runaways and Welcome to The Rileys. By the way Dan Bullock, I watched On The Road and she was good in it. She received a lot of praises in Cannes. Pattison also looks bad in Twilight. I agree with you JessK, a handsome face doesn’t make you a good actor. Rob’s three previous movies outside Twilight were also the bad performances, disconnected, dull and no chemistry. Showing your ass doesn’t make a good movie. I heard he is very good in Cosmopolis. Can’t wait to check it out. The bottom line, even Oscar winners did bad movies. Don’t just them on that. Be fair. Good luck guys. Great debate with you.

  27. Dan Bullock

    May 31, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Brain, I don’t see why commenting is a bad thing, I commented because this is a site I write for, edit, love and we all have an equal passion for film, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.

    Many OSCAR winners are over-sentimental garbage, I don’t think comparing that specific award ceremony to performance on any level, is the best sequence of events here. Granted, there has been great winners over the years but recently…some shocking decisions. Anyway, digress.

    This has been fun but I’m a little bored now. I know what you’re saying but I haven’t seen this yet, so I can’t comment on individual performance. My only ask? Don’t be surprised if people comment on a thread, on a site that they write for and – like any movie site – don’t be too shocked if everyone doesn’t agree. We’ve all got opinions, right?

  28. Dan Bullock

    May 31, 2012 at 7:07 am

    By the way, John Sharp isn’t angry, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry…

    I also think he’s just defending your attack on Matt, is this a bad thing?

  29. John Sharp

    May 31, 2012 at 10:58 am

    That’s my secret, Dan. I’m always angry.

    Well, actually I’m quite happy go lucky. But I reckon Bruce Banner walloping that giant snake thing would have had less impact if he’d said that beforehand.

    But yes, I think it is time to bring this to a close.
    BRAIN it is, then. Apologies for not noticing your name properly, but if you read through your last entry, dearest BRAIN, you may notice you need to proof read yourself, as your grammar is not up to scratch. So let’s not have any pots calling any kettles black, hmm? Also, I am neither passive aggressive nor… LITTLE-tempered (whatever that means). I am defending my friend and colleague from the personal attacks. If you disagree with his view on SNOW WHITE, fine. But don’t accuse him of things that simply are not true.

    But this has all been said before, and as Dan pointed out, this is getting old. So let’s all live and let live, right? Right. Shall we all just go about our business? If we can’t part ways as friends, let us merely part ways.

  30. BRAIN

    May 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Oh dear John Sharp, I can’t even believe you didn’t recognize English is not my mother language, actually it’s my third-language. Do English people need to proof read themselves? By the way, it is not a smart way to promote your site by criticizing visitor’s grammar. I guess you only know to do business locally. LOL. Calm down, Sharp. You, definitely are not up for this job. Learn it from Dan. Bye.

  31. Sam Carey

    May 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Wow, what happened on here? Some crazy ass debating and name-calling going on. Nice for THN to be getting lively.

    Plus to all of you, want to see some bad acting look at Geoff Hurst in Payback Season!

  32. John Sharp

    Jun 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Oh Sam, where have you been? You’ve missed all the fun! And Geoff Hurst? The guy who scored the winning goal for England in 1966? I must see this Payback Season!

    Look, BRAIN, enough is enough. Yes, English people need to proof read themselves if they are going to publish their work. I’m not in the habit of criticising visitors’ grammar, but if you throw that particular stone at someone, don’t be surprised if they throw it back. I will say your English is very good, so well done. And, if you feel I’m not up to this, that’s fine. I welcome your feedback as would anyone else here at THN. But my colleagues and peers think I am up to this, and I value their opinion over yours. That is all.

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