Review: The Huntsman – Winter’s War (Snow White #2)
Series: Snow White #2
Released by Universal Studios on 7 April 2016
Length: 1h 54m
Source: Seen in cinema
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Nick Frost, Rob Byrdon, Sheridan Smith, Alexandra Roach.
As a war between rival queen sisters Ravenna and Freya escalates, Eric and fellow warrior Sara, members of the Huntsmen army raised to protect Freya, try to conceal their forbidden love as they combat Ravenna's wicked intentions.
Even before going to this movie, I still hadn’t watched the previous movie (so I didn’t know what happened there, though of course I knew the general Snow White story). I also had only watched the trailer for this movie once and hadn’t really remembered much of it. And in someone else’s review I read that you didn’t necessarily have to have seen the previous movie in order to watch this one (even so, at the beginning of Winter’s War, the general plot for the 2012 movie was explained). In 2012, Universal released their remake of the Snow White story; called Snow White and the Huntsman. I never saw it, because honestly I wasn’t such a big fan of Kristen Stewart as the main character. Then I heard they were going to make another movie in this series, focused solely on the Huntsman, played by Chris Hemsworth and I got excited. Because from what I could understand this would be a prequel, so there would be no Snow White, and no Kristen Stewart in this movie. A couple of days ago, I went to see The Huntsman: Winter’s War in the cinema.
In Winter’s War we meet Ravenna’s (Theron) younger sister, Freya (Blunt), who becomes almost as cruel as she is. In her icy castle in the North, she trains children taken from neighbouring villages to become her Huntsmen. She will look after them, and she only has one rule. No love. Among these children are Eric (Hemsworth) and Sara (Chastain), and as they grow up they find it difficult to keep to Freya’s one rule.
What I hadn’t expected while watching – and I do hope people don’t consider this a spoiler, because honestly I would have loved to know beforehand – is that this movie is both a prequel and a sequel. The first part of the movie takes place seven years before the Snow White movie. The latter part takes place after those events. Like I said, I really wish I had known this before going to this movie, because I now have the feeling I missed some references to the old movie.
Characterwise, I thought this was a very strong movie. You had Eric and Sara, who were great in my opinion – not just because they were played by two amazing actors, but because I just loved their interaction and the love they had for each other. View Spoiler »I don’t know why they added that part where Sara ‘died’ and had Eric think for seven years his wife was dead – but me and probably the rest of the audience already knew that wasn’t true, because we’d seen her in the trailer going along on his quest to find the mirror. So yeah, I didn’t like that part much. « Hide Spoiler
Freya and Ravenna were incredibly wicked, and though I didn’t like Ravenna much, I really liked Freya. I know she was evil and that she stole those children away from their parents, manipulated them into thinking love was awful, but I don’t know I just liked her better than Ravenna. View Spoiler »She reminded me a lot of the White Queen from Narnia though, especially with those icy people in her throne room and when she rode that polar bear (or w/e it was) in full armour. And of course she was mostly like Elsa, but that is because they were based on the same story, The Ice Queen. « Hide Spoiler
All the fight scenes in this movie were incredible, although that might be because I am just such a sucker for fight scenes, especially those that aren’t between people with guns. I want to see knives, swords, bows and arrows, axes, bare hands even – I live for scenes like that. And this movie was full of them, and they were all incredible. To be honest, my favourite scene has got to be the one at the end of the movie; so be on the lookout for that one!View Spoiler »Freya got her powers after finding out that her child was murdered by her boyfriend (who was played by Colin Morgan, such a cutie). I already knew that it was really Ravenna who was behind it, although I hadn’t really expected it to go that way. She literally brainwashed Colin’s character (did he have a name?) into setting his own child on fire. But yeah, this reveal just wasn’t a surprise to me. « Hide Spoiler
In the end, I really liked The Huntsman: Winter’s War, but I just had the feeling I was missing references, and the twists in this story weren’t that incredible as I saw them coming from miles ahead. But if you enjoyed Snow White and the Huntsman, you should really check out this movie as well. Especially if your favourite character from that movie was Eric.
My opinion in one gif: