Before the story of Snow White, there was the story of the evil Ravenna and her sister Freya. Freya had an open heart, filled with love and trust, while Ravenna envied her sister but pitied her innocence. When tragedy strikes, Freya develops abilities that deems her the Ice Queen. Running away and building her own kingdom, she raises an army of Huntsmen, consisted of Eric and his love Sarah. Soon, a battle for power over the kingdom erupts between Freya and Ravenna, with Eric and Sarah caught in the middle.
Huntsman: Winter’s War is part prequel and part sequel to its predecessor Snow White and the Huntsman. This time around Snow White isn’t present, but while there are several nods and references to her and the first film, this is primarily about the Huntsman as well as the two evil queens. While I enjoyed this film about as much as the first film, I would essentially put this film ahead of the original simply for the overall story. I enjoyed the way it connected all of these characters and their stories together and how they all collided. While the trailers for the film feature Ravenna throughout the whole thing, she is only in the film in the beginning and in the final act. While this does sound like a bummer, it actually works really well. In a sense there is a strong build up to her appearance for the very exciting battle at the end. We are also given a group of very likable heroes to root for. The story stays fairly consistent with its overall meaning not only with Freya’s story but also with Eric and Sarah. What I enjoyed about the film was its overall build up, we get our stories developed with our characters and it all leads to the big collision among good versus evil. However, there are moments where it drags in the middle, but nothing unbearable.The film also features excellent cinematography and solid images and effects. In a nutshell, it is an excellent adventure/fantasy. If that’s really all you are looking for, then you will love it. If you’re looking for an absolutely perfect movie, then pass on it.
As far as the acting goes, Chris Hemsworth provides just as solid of a performance here as he did in the first film, bringing in a great amount of charm, wit, and some good heart to the character. Jessica Chastain kicks ass in her role of Sarah, she’s a woman definitely worth admiring that can hold her own, Chastain really shows the character’s strength in the way she carries herself throughout. Finally there are the two most notable performances in Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron. While both have limited screen time, they easily have the best parts of the film, which makes their limited screen time pretty worth it. Blunt does a tremendous job of showing the heartbreak Freya feels, but also the the evil she’s using in order to prevent the heartbreak happening again, it’s very easy to see these emotions in Blunt’s expressions. And of course there is the amazing Ms. Theron. It seems almost impossible for this woman to provide a bad performance. Can we just put her in everything? I knew that when she appeared again for the final showdown she was going to give it all she had. She showed her deliciously evil side in the beginning, but she lets it all out at the end and just becomes balls-to-the-wall awesome. She plays evil so well that you can’t help but love her.
Huntsman: Winter’s War is an excellent fantasy/adventure that provides more thrills and fun than the first, and solid and consistent story. But more than anything it is the the performances of this all-star cast that really pull this movie together and makes it a hell of a ride.