The Huntsman: Winter's War

⭐⭐⭐ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: A fun fantasy that builds on the best parts of its prequel but never really breaks out of its shadow. Had they been made the other way around, this would be the superior film. As it is, it's just about good enough.


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

I was a little confused when I first heard that the reboot of Snow White in the vein of Game of Thrones had somehow managed to get a sequel greenlit. I mean, the original was fun enough, with a decent villain, some funny dwarves and Chris Hemsworth being a badass. I feel like there was probably more to the original plot, but I'm honestly hard pushed to remember any of it. It seems the movie studio felt the same way, as the sequel opts to focus on Hemsworth and the dwarves fighting the (somehow not totally dead) Queen and her sister. Except, it looks like only one of the dwarves enjoyed themselves first time around, or maybe they accidentally signed a multi-film contract. In short (hehe), only Nick Frost reprises his role, though he is buddied up with a wonderful turn from Rob Brydon.

The end result is a rare sequel that re-treads all the best parts of the original, but is just novel enough to prevent it being painfully clear that they didn't have any new ideas. The humour is decent, the fantasy world-building remains at least a little unique (albeit owing a serious debt to the likes of Shrek) and the plotline surrounding Hemsworth's backstory could be much worse. If anything, Winter's War is the film that should have been made first time around. It feels like most of what happened in Snow White was ultimately leading to this plotline, and you certainly get a much better sense of righteous justice when Charlize Theron is cut down second time around. It was never a necessary movie and it remains a film that can be skipped without any loss, but somehow Winter's War manages to be competent enough to present an entertaining watch.

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