Movie Review: The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt

Directed by: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

Huntsman Eric and fellow warrior Sara are both part of the Ice Queen Freya’s army. There are strict laws they have to abide by which include that no one shall love but Eric and Sara can not resist. Together they must fight to defeat Freya and her evil sister Ravenna so the sisters don’t take over the kingdom and leave it in ruin.

Just four short years after the release of Snow White and The Huntsman both Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron reprise their roles as the huntsman and Ravenna respectively as they star in The Huntsman: Winter’s War which is both a prequel and a sequel to its predecessor. It’s been quite some time since I watched the first movie and my memory of it is a little hazy but my memory was coming back as this story progressed. In this movie we get to find out a lot more about The Huntsman, Eric, and how he became who he is.

The story isn’t complicated to follow but does allow movement to throw you a couple of curveballs along the way which helps perk up interest and excitement. I also like the darkness which surrounds the story, which at times makes you forget that this is an adaptation from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Chris Hemsworth was good once again in his role as he played the laid back action hero and Jessica Chastain as Sara, Hemsworth’s love interest, was a great addition and their chemistry together was very good. Jessica Chastain is fast becoming one of my favourite actresses and it’s not hard to see why from this performance and while I haven’t seen all of her work, everything I’ve seen her in besides Coriolanus (which was just a terrible movie) has been extremely good.

Once again the dwarves return too to add a little comic relief but this time I believe having fewer dwarves helped the movie as there were only four this time round. Nick Frost was the only one who featured in the first movie as Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith and Alexandra Roach were introduced this time and because there are fewer dwarves it’s easier to develop a story for them and for the audience to connect with each of them and care about what happens to them. Emily Blunt plays ice queen, Freya, and she was great to watch as the temperamental queen who after suffering heartbreak turns ruthlessly malicious. One character I would’ve liked to have seen more of however was Ravenna, played by Charlize Theron. She was the highlight of the first movie, from what I can remember, and although only a small part here, she was devastatingly effective and while focus and attention was on her sister Freya, it would’ve been nice to see more of Theron.

Overall, The Huntsman: Winter’s War is better than the first movie as the comedy is more evenly spread and better delivered and the first movie was pretty forgettable. A well told story with some good solid performances on show, better than anticipated.

7/10

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