Cinematic Releases: The Huntsman - Winter's War

The Huntsman is out this week. Check out our early review. 

Hey. Let's see if we can make this
look like Frozen at all. I bet we can. 
The apt title for this film should be The Huntsman: The Quest for Summer Blockbuster Cash

It’s all looks and no story, focusing more on the set design and special effects as opposed to a plot. Even the title of the film doesn’t apply as there is no war, instead just an angry character that looks like she came from Frozen. Even the film’s poster looks similar to Frozen’s. It’s clearly obvious that this release is guilty of the summer blockbuster fever and was destined to be made because the original did well financially. It features the Nordic god Thor Chris Hemsworth and a fiery Charlize Theron doing her best after Mad Max: Fury Road. Both are suffering sequelitis.

That’s not to say that this isn’t a decent movie and that you shouldn’t go and spend your money to see it. It really comes down to what you’re looking for in a movie. If you want action and special effects, then this film will deliver. If you want a strong story without any plot holes then this is not the one for you. The special effects are excellent and that should be expected since it’s being directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who had previously worked as a visual effects person until his directorial debut here. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Special Effects in 2013 for Snow White and the Huntsman. He also was involved with the visual effects on The Ring and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. He was second unit director on Maleficent and Snow White and the Huntsman. It should be expected that this film will be nominated for its special effects, because they are the best part of the movie.

You're cute. Come over to my place
later. We can play Furiosa finds a girlfriend. 
The other areas that this film excels in are the set design and costumes. It’s hard to say how much of the set design is actually computer generated, but they all look spectacular. The costume design is great as well; with ornate and grand dresses and headwear, period costumes, and medieval type armor for people and the horses. It has a nice overall look and the filmmaking is competent, as Nicolas-Troyan does a credible job and provides us with sweeping scenic shots and well blocked scenes. He is destined to have a future in movies involving a large amount of special effects.

There is a comedic element with two dwarf characters played by Nick Frost and Rob Brydon. Frost is known from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Bryden is known for Cinderella and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. The comedy feels like outtakes from some other fantasy film, but some may still find it mildly amusing. There's also a love story subplot between Hemsworth and Chastain’s characters, which is somewhat weak and not completely realized.

Most potential viewers are only going to see this if they have already seen the first one. So if you enjoyed that, then most likely you’re going to enjoy this too. 

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-Raul Vantassle