Snow White and the Huntsman may have drawn headlines for all the wrong reasons after the Kristen Stewart affair debacle back in 2012. But with her now gone, The Huntsman returns for a far more enjoyable tale. Acting as a prequel and a sequel, Winter’s War shows us how cruel Queen Ravenna (the amazing Charlize Theron) came into power.
Ravenna’s sister Freya (the equally awesome Emily Blunt) is deemed to be the good sister but when a suspicious tragedy befalls her, she turns wicked and frosty (literally). Stealing children from all the land and forging an army, we are introduced to The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) as a child. Whilst living in servitude he forms a relationship with Sara (the sensational Jessica Chastain), something that’s strictly forbidden in Freya’s icy kingdom. She’s also seeking the infamous mirror now that Ravenna is no more. So begins a quest to find the powerful centrepiece before Freya takes over the world.
Where The Huntsman: Winter’s War’s real success lies are in its amazing central cast. Chris Hemsworth is his usual, reliable self but it’s Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain and Charlize Theron that really brings this story home. Having three strong female characters in a fantasy blockbuster is a dream come true, especially when they are afforded the time to really develop their character back-stories. Blunt has never been more despicable, Theron is this franchise’s trump card and Chastain gives us a warrior to champion.
The supporting cast plays a large part in the success of the movie too. Sheridan Smith, Sophie Cookson, Nick Frost and Rob Brydon play bickering dwarves and deliver some solid laughs throughout. The action is also really engaging, with enjoyably epic fairytale set-pieces that sparkle with spectacle at every turn. There are even a few nice twists along the way too.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a brilliant action-adventure that far surpasses Snow White and the Huntsman. With such a powerful A-list cast leading the line, it’s easy to see how this project has delivered on its promise. Throw in great special effects and hilarious support and you have one of the most enjoyable matinees so far this year. Good, solid, old-fashioned fun with plenty to entertain a slightly more mature audience looking for something a bit edger from their fairytales.
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan Writer: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Craig Mazin, Evan Daugherty Released By: Universal Certificate: 12A Duration: 114 mins Release Date: 4th April 2016