After being locked in a high tower whilst growing up following her father's murder at the hand of her step-mother Ravenna (Charlize Theron), Snow White (Kristen Stewart) manages to escape. At the same time, Ravenna realises that she is no longer the fairest of them all, and that the only way to become so is to kill Snow.
She hires a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) who follows Snow into the Dark Forest, aided by her brother Finn (Sam Spruell). There, Snow faces many dangers as she attempts to trail back to her father's loyal men, ready to launch an attack to free their kingdom once more.
Ever since the first trailer for Snow White and Huntsman was shown, I was told that I was going to watch it by my girlfriend. To be honest, I didn't put up much of an argument as it looked like an interesting take on the Brother's Grimm classic. However, on release it was rated a simple 3 stars in Empire which was the first knock to my confidence on going to watch the film. Not to be deterred by this, however, I popped along on Bank Holiday weekend to see if it was all that.
Without a doubt the most striking thing about Snow White and the Huntsman are the visuals. This is epitomised by the scenes featuring Ravenna's mirror - a perfectly executed personalisation with beautiful reflective golden globules. The landscaping is awesome too; the dark forest looks creepy and later, a magical clearing is as enchanting as Disney's first animated film.
The casting is excellent; every where you turn there is a star of a recent hit - Kristen Stewart's Twilight is an ongoing success (despite reviews), Chris Hemsworth's Avengers Assemble recently broke numerous box office records and a second Charlize Theron film - Prometheus - was released on the same weekend in the UK. Acting wise though, its a mixed bag. Stewart struggles to convey the mix of emotions, and Theron doesn't get enough screen time to be effective. Hemsworth plays a similar macho role in Avengers Assemble, and transfers this well, although his character is mostly one-dimensional.
The most irritating part though is found in the storytelling. While Snow makes her laborious trek across the forest, an old man on a horse makes the same journey, followed by Snow's previous lover making the opposite journey, only for him to catch up with Snow again. The length of Snow's journey supplies more than just a hint of Lord of the Rings.
So, all in all, my first thoughts were spot on. It is an interesting take on an old fable and is visually impressive, but bring a pillow during the middle stint.