Mature adaptations of old fairy tales and fables is always to be encouraged, for these morality tales explore the essence of humanity and life, in which adults can learn just as much now, as they had when as children.

Snow White And The Huntsman is sternly serious and certainly not for young children. Kristen Stewart is Snow White, daughter of the King that re-marries a mysterious woman named Ravenna, played by Charlize Theron. Upon claiming the throne as Queen, Ravenna begins her tyranny of darkness over the lands that surrounds her.

After much exposition, the movie doesn’t really start to take off until about 35 minutes in, when Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman character is introduced. From this point on, a series of exciting action sequences propel the film to its conclusion.

For me, Kristen Stewart, despite her best efforts, just seemed miscast and … unlike-able. Charlize Theron at times bordered towards way too over-the-top, but I still enjoyed her performance and what she brought to the role. Chris Hemsworth “mercenary for hire”, mumbled his way through most the movie, though still managed to be … charming.

However, there are many positives to this film. I think the movie is well constructed, so long as you can over-look some obvious plot-holes and leaps of logic. The dialogue has some very good moments, too. Yet, the visual style and visual effects are by far the outstanding feature of the movie. The environments look spectacular and the effects never seemed obvious or unnecessary.

A special mention to the film score from James Newton Howard, which is truly superb. Along with The Hunger Games earlier this year, he’s having a wonderful 2012, with two of the best soundtracks heard in recent times.

On many occasions the movie tried very hard to make an emotional connection, but I just wasn’t able to respond to it. Technically, the film uses every dollar of its $150 million budget to wonderful effect on screen, yet fails to provide proper characterisation and is severely lacking passion.

I believe some of the film’s failing lays in the casting. It was only near the finale of the movie, when Kristen Stewart wore some battle armour, that I felt any real love for her. In fact, I would be greatly interested in seeing a sequel, perhaps whereby Snow White is more the aggressor character. Apparently Emily Browning was one of MANY actresses considered for the role of this Snow White. Sigh, I wish!

Score: 7 out of 10.


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