Blu-Ray Review – The Huntsman: Winter’s War

When a sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman was announced it was more of a curiosity than anything else. While a successful film, both critically and commercially, the ending gave you enough to think that another film wasn’t all that necessary. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a prequel, technically, but it says something that the first thought of Universal was to turn what had been a franchise focused on Kristen Stewart into one revolving around Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron.

We start years before Snow White would recruit the Huntsman and some dwarves to tackle Queen Ravenna (Theron). Now the Huntsman (Hemsworth) and the love of his life (Jessica Chastain) are caught in the middle of a war between Ravenna and her sister Freya (Emily Blunt). We delve into the history of the Hunstman as the film is both a prequel and a sequel but somehow never really finds its groove.

You’d think with all the great parts of this film coming together that some sort of greatness would happen. You have a lot of terrific acting talent assembled but this is a case of a bunch of great pieces coming together that just don’t quite fit.

That’s the thing with this film. The first in the series didn’t work all that well but found an audience because it was an interesting take on the fairy tale of Snow White. It was different and sometimes different is ok. This doesn’t have the background to it nor the intrigue. It exists because the first film made money and they thought they could make more, not because there was more story to tell.

The film suffers because there isn’t an organic reason for it to exist. The addition of Blunt is terrific, as she’s an excellent actress, but delving into the backstory of the Wicked Queen and the Mirror doesn’t give us any more insight into the events of Snow White and the Huntsman.

If this had followed Snow White in this world following the events of the first film, as an exploration of what happens after the fairy tale ends, there would’ve been something interesting to discuss. Instead we’re given a generic sequel that doesn’t add anything back into the franchise.

There’s an extended cut, which adds about six minutes of material back in (that you don’t notice). There’s mainly EPK pieces, deleted scenes and things that don’t add much back to the viewing experience.

Universal presents The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Written by Evan Spiliotopoulos and Craig Mazin. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith, Alexandra Roach Run Time: 114 minutes Rated PG-13. Released on DVD: 8.23.2016

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