I had high expectations for The Huntsman: Winter’s War. After seeing Snow White and the Huntsman, I imagined the next Huntsman offering would be just as entertaining. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Maybe it’s because the filmmakers decided to make a prequel AND a sequel all in one movie. Although a bold concept, it didn’t work for me. Mentioning Snow White a few times doesn't make up for her screen absence. Nor does the presence of Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain -- three beautiful, talented actresses -- in key roles as well as easy-on-the-eye Chris Hemsworth returning as the Huntsman.
Sometimes a film goes way off track
and fails to gain our interest back.
Such is the case with Winter’s War,
a fantasy that made me snore.
Visual effects still are quite strong.
But story drags on much too long.
Without Snow White, the plot seems lame.
And Huntsman 2 ends up a shame.
However, Theron does look great portraying wicked Queen Ravenna again, but her camera time is limited. Blunt plays Ravenna’s sister Freya, who starts out with a heart and soul, then turns into an evil Ice Queen (a Frozen rip-off?), Ravenna’s rival. Freya begins capturing children and training them to be her army. Sara (Chastain) and Eric (Hemsworth) just happen to be two of these youngsters who grow up to be among Freya’s trusted warriors. When Freya finds out the two have fallen in love, which is forbidden, she unleashes her icy powers as the “traitors” try to escape. That’s the prequel part of the movie. Do they succeed? Skip to seven years later to find out.
Before the sequel section begins, events depicted in Snow White and the Huntsman must have taken place. And next comes warfare -- lots of it. Ravenna oozes out of that magical golden mirror and joins Freya, who uses her special powers to the max while Sara and Eric join forces to fight the villainous Queens.
Although filled with dazzling special effects, the film repeats those icy ones too much. It’s a kind of “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” strategy. I also became annoyed at how slowly the sister Queens speak their dialogue. Still, those gorgeous costumes worn by Blunt and Theron are almost worth the cost of admission.
(Released by Universal Pictures and rated “PG-13” for fantasy action violence and some sensuality.)
For more information about The Huntsman: Winter’s War, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.