Writer: Cinnamon Lion
Overall: 4.0 Out of 5
Cast: 4.0 Out of 5
Plot: 3.5 Out of 5
Effects: 4.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 4.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “Snow White and the Huntsman”
The Good, the Bad and the Hunters:
While many were wary when they first learned of 2012's "Snow White and the Huntsman" getting a follow-up, most eventually accepted the fact as time goes by - and especially after it was announced that Kristen Stewart was not to reprise her role as the titular fair princess.
This time the focus is shifted onto the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), who in this movie goes by Eric, and how he battles two (no longer just one) evil queens alongside the love of his life, Sara (Jessica Chastain). Despite the movie being more oestrogen-laden, in a way, do not expect any of the ladies to be damsels-in-distress. It is refreshing to see that Sara can hold her own and is usually the one doing the saving instead of the other way around, an improvement from yesteryears' characters where it is always the women that needed to be saved at the last minute, no matter how good of a fighter they are.
Serving as both a prequel - how the Huntsman came to be, and a sequel - how Evil Queen Ravenna returned to the realm of the living, the storyline is predictable but enjoyable, at least enough to be forgiven by the audiences for its simple plot. Since 'love' is undeniably a major theme when it comes to a Snow White-based story (or most fairy tales, for that matter), it was inevitable that it is also shone a spotlight on in this movie. Some moviegoers may think of this as the adult version of Disney's "Frozen", a tale of two sisters with one of them being an ice queen. Be warned though, there is no sisterly love between "Huntsman's" two queens, Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and Freya (Emily Blunt). That aside, there is, however, the usual love story between a man and a woman, which continues Snow White's motto of love conquers all.
The dwarves once again provide comic relief in the movie, though it could be noted that overall this movie does have a lighter note to it as opposed to its predecessor, with the huntsmen even throwing in a playful banter or two. And the cast was immensely improved with the addition of Blunt and Chastain (and dare we say, absence of Stewart) as these two are no doubt amazing actresses, on par with, if not better than the performances of returning stars Hemsworth and Theron.
Is this much of a step-up from the first movie? Maybe not so, but it still does its work serving as a prequel-sequel. There is a cohesive flow that strings the two movies together. With that said, there is, however, no need for audiences to arm themselves with knowledge from the first movie because this movie stands fine by itself as a standalone.
• Following the Sony e-mail hacks, it was revealed that Charlize Theron's pay to return for the second movie was originally lower than Chris Hemsworth, despite she herself being a box office draw.
• Theron refused to sign on until Universal agreed to her terms and she received the same pay as Hemsworth, which is just over USD10,000,000 each for the movie.
Cinema Online, 14 April 2016