Snow White and The Huntsman

7 06 2012

In breaking from my weekly tradition of reviewing movies that came out at least twelve years ago, I decided to up The Off Duty Mime’s credibility and watch something recent. Because hey, maybe JD McGriddle will quit dodging me with this “pro bono” nonsense and provide a number that doesn’t lead to a burner cell phone.  I digress.  There’s nothing quite like taking in a summer blockbuster, but I sure as Hell wasn’t seeing Turd Burton’s latest dissertation on why Johnny Depp is really weird, so I dragged Mrs. Kleinz 57 with to see if Snow White and The Huntsman was as bitchin’ as the trailer made it look.

The evil Ravenna (Charlize Theron) becomes de facto queen, takes over the King’s castle, and locks his only daughter, Snow White (Kristen Stewart), in the dungeon of the tallest tower.  After years of solitude and bad acting lessons, Snow White’s beauty finally becomes a threat to the Queen’s immortality, and the vain Ravenna must kill her step daughter before she can revolt.  Of course Snow White escapes, and the Queen enlists the help of a huntsman, appropriately named The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), to help dispatch of her problem.  In time, he succumbs to the dead cow-eyed gaze of Snow White and her immaculate beauty — just go with it, okay? — and the two outcasts lead a rebellion to end Ravenna’s tyranny once and for all.

If this sounds a little familiar, it shouldn’t, because Snow White and The Huntsman is an original story.  At least, I assume that’s what director Rupert Sanders was going for with this darker and grittier rehash.  While the seven dwarves — conspicuously missing from the title so we shalt not tarry long here — show up at the film’s halfway mark, they’ve suffered a similar edgy facelift, most notably in changing their names to more battle-hardened monikers like “Gort” and “Nion,” because those obviously sound way less ridiculous than “Sleepy” or “Doc.”  I wonder if this film’s original treatment did as much flexing and chest puffing as the final product or if it was hastily changed in pre-production to separate itself from Tarsem’s Mirror, Mirror, a more comedic take on… well, the exact same story.  After all, releasing the same movie two months apart would be right up there with that one time Landry Peeler also made a volcano for the third grade science fair and totally made you both look like giant dill holes in front of Kelly Perkis.

The most frustrating thing about Snow White and The Huntsman is its utter failure to defend its creative digressions from a story most of us know pretty damn well.  We come to learn that the Queen’s brother killed the Huntsman’s wife — presumably named The Huntsman’s Wife — years ago, and he vividly recalls doing it just because.  The single stipulation to the Queen’s immortality is that only Snow White and her concave ass can bring about her undoing just because.  The Queen regularly takes healing milk baths.  Just fucking because, you guys.  I actually looked over and caught Mrs. Kleinz 57 scoffing at a few of the more syrupy one-liners. When you can’t get your target female audience on board with a trite, prosthetic love story, you’re probably doing something wrong.  But listen, if you manage to sit through all 2 hours and 7 minutes, you at least get to hear an exclusive Florence + The Machine song from the soundtrack.  And let’s face it, musical tie-ins are the only reason we go to these things in the first place.

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