Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Tale of Terror . . .

There are spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

I went to see "Snow White and the Huntsman" on Friday, and, I have to say, I was fairly excited. I've devoured whatever I could get my hands on regarding the costuming, and the previews made it look dark and scary and beautiful, like the fantasy films I remember from my childhood.

All that being said . . . ahem. Well, it was pretty. Very, very pretty. Visually stunning. If you could have a remote control and turn off the sound for most of the film, you really wouldn't miss much. In fact, you might have a better viewing experience. That sounds pretty harsh, I know, and I'm not saying it's a terrible movie. It's not, really. It's just not all that good.

There are way too many questions that don't get answers, and for an analytical mind like mine, that doesn't sit well. After leaving the theatre, my companion and I immediately started to dissect the editing/script issues:

-If Snow White is really locked up for, like, 10 years, how is she any level of functioning human? Why is she not horribly psychologically scarred or at least completely socially awkward? Does she sew her own clothes? Does she read to pass the time? Seriously, that tower room is empty, dank, and terrible, and she comes out of it pretty much normal.

-If Snow White can calm and enchant all the creatures of the faery forest, why doesn't she utilize this in the final battle? It would have been awesome to see her ride that troll into battle, and command a small army of moss-covered turtles and rabbits and birds. It might even have been cool to see her use birds against the Queen, who uses her own birds so prominently for evil. Instead, we are treated to a Narnia-like, LOTR retread, with a bunch of people riding horses across the beach in shiny armor and getting arrows shot at them. Boring.

-What the hell is the geography of this place? They go through three or four distinctly different areas and several different climates, all in the space of a few minutes, with no idea how much time has passed or distance has been crossed. The castle is on a frigging beach. The forest appears to be surrounded by swamp. The faery forest is in some kind of perpetual summer. Then, it's winter. Some sense of location might have been helpful.

-If the Queen has no powers in the Dark Forest, then how the hell does she get Snow White to eat that apple?

-Is Finn the dumbest villain alive? After the Huntsman finds Snow White and holds her hostage for the return of his wife (promised to him by the Queen), instead of agreeing that the wife will be returned and taking Snow White, Finn laughs in the Huntsman's face and tells him the Queen can't fulfill the bargain, and he's stupid for thinking so. Big fight, no Snow White. WTF?

-Zero chemistry between KStew and either of her male leads. Zero. And, it's not hard to have chemistry with Chris Hemsworth, who smolders and glowers and weeps in beautiful measures. He's handsome covered in three layers of filth. Jesus, what would it take to smile at him a little more, instead of that vaguely pained expression she seems to default to?

-What is the Queen's ultimate endgame? Why take over a second kingdom, when it is clearly explained that she already took over one by killing the last rulers? Did she use that kingdom up? Did they run her out of town on a rail? Is her army from there? Again, no sense of geography. And, why take over Snow White's country, just to run everything into the ground? It might have been more interesting to watch her try to rule the country (ie: be a real person and not a 2-dimensional symbol), and struggle with a populace that hates her. Why just come in and kill everything? What's the point?

There are, literally, a hundred more questions and issues I could raise here, but there's little point. The film is a beautiful spectacle, and my hat is off to Colleen once again for one of her most incredible costume design jobs. But, I need more out of my movie-going experience than just sitting back and turning down the sound on my brain for two hours. I wish "Snow White and the Huntsman" had tried a little harder to be a film, and not just eye-candy.


Jen said...

Did you see "Mirror, Mirror"? Curious as to how you'd compare the two. I'm avoiding both of them until Netflix, simply because I don't think it's worth $12 to see a poorly-scripted fashion show.

Ginger said...

I didn't see Mirror, Mirror, though the costumes were designed by my other favorite designer, Eiko Ishioka. I will Netflix that one, and suffer for art:)

Ginger said...
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Cation Designs said...

Oh sad...I had such high hopes for this movie. Although I will say that California and New Zealand both manage to cram an awful lot of climates/topographies into a relatively small area. But those questions you raised are the kinds that always bug me about badly written movies, so I think I will have to save this expensive fashion show for DVD, when I can pause and fast-forward to my heart's content. Thanks for writing a review!

Kimba said...

What a sad experience. I'd like to say I'm surprised, but with the cast, I expected little to nothing of a performance. I always felt the movie looked like a train wreck, but was SERIOUSLY hoping for better because I knew you were excited for it. I wish Hollywood would just get it together and stop wasting money on a serious lack of quality.