By now we’ve all learned that Hollywood loves prequels and sequels. Pair one of the two with a twisted, dark version of your favourite fairytale and you can almost hear the powers that be foaming at the mouth. Luckily, in the case of Cedric Nicolas-Troyan’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War, it works rather well.
Presented as a prequel in advertisements, the film is actually part origin story and part follow up to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, and initially tells the story of the Evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and her sister Freya (Emily Blunt), and how Eric (Chris Hemsworth) came to be under the employment of Freya, along with his one true love, Sara (Jessica Chastain). I don’t want to say much more in terms of plot as there are plenty of nice surprises in store. But trust me when I say that there’s plenty to love about this epic tale: love (the steamy kind), action, humour and, thanks to a very convincing Blunt, some frightening moments.
Craig Mazin and Hollywood’s current favourite scribe, Evan Spiliotopoulos created an epic script for Nicolas-Troyan to work with, kicking things off with a tragic beginning that makes Blunt’s cold-hearted Snow Queen a lot easier to sympathise with.
For those who came for the love story, you will be pleased to know that Hemsworth and Chastain turn up the heat pretty early on, and the spark between their characters is undeniably sweet to watch. It’s not all evil queens and loved-up warriors though, with plenty of action to go around. It’s mostly fun, and you never really feel like the heroes are going to fail, and sometimes it’s nice to see the good guys win.
Image source: Paramount Pictures.