The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Aka “Definitely Not Frozen”

Mirror mirror on the wall, why was this film even made at all?

Oh, that’s right; money. The big wigs at Universal must have been running of piles of money to stoke the fire this winter and decided to drag a mediocre film back to life with all the ingenuity of a slow roasted plimsoll.

The film clings on to life without Snow Twilight (Kristen Stewart) by bringing back the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron). This time she is less prone to being stabbed. Outside of this recycled adversary we are dragged through the history of the huntsman (Chris Hemsworth).

The film opens with the Huntsman being kidnapped by queen Elsa… sorry I meant Freya; a scorned ice queen, complete with ice palace, who wants everyone to abandon the idea of love.

We see the huntsman’s grow up with a fellowship of huntsmen that is cobbled together as an afterthought. There is so little interaction with the group that they become completely irrelevant to any potential character progression for the huntsman.

The exception to this is the introduction of his wife Sara (Jessica Chastain) who we are told (in the first film) had died.

An awful tragedy befalls Sara when she opens her mouth to reveal the most horrific Scottish accent. Chastain’s accent is seriously jarring and removed me from what little interest I had in the film.

After awkwardly and inconsistently straddling the events of the first film – including an inconsistent story of how Sara died – we find out that Sara is actually still alive. This all leads to an incredibly weak storyline of stopping the evil queens from being evil.

The Huntsman, who was the most likeable part of the original becomes a pastiche of his former self through bland dialogue and limited character progression but it’s Freya aka “honestly, this isn’t Frozen” that truly falls foul of this dire script.

As much as the character tries to piggy-back of the popularity of Frozen, it lacks all of it’s fun and charm. Emily Blunt is allowed precious few lines to speak and even fewer emotions making her performance incredibly boring to watch and impossible to empathise with.

At least the visual effects are good. Whilst the ice effects are satisfactory it’s Ravenna’s gloopy, spikey oil power thing that are the most visually interesting.  Other moments include moss and flower covered turtles and snakes but you can just watch the original for this.

The only other saving grace is Nick Frost and Rob Brydon as dwarves Nion and Gryff. They provide some much needed light comic relief but it’s all too little (haha… dwarves) too late.

Obviously inspiration was dryer than a mouthful of crackers and custard powder as Winter’s War manages to be a worse film that the original. It should only be watched by 7 year olds, those with poor taste in film or by idiots like myself. What could have been an interesting live action Frozen ironically ends up being less than cool.

The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:

+ Some cool visuals
+ The dwarves

– Frozen… minus the good stuff
– Jessica Chastain’s accent
– The overly melodramatic music
– Weak script



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