Snow White And The Huntsman
Direction: Rupert Sanders
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron
It’s a no-contest. Mired in reboot brinkmanship with the recently released Mirror Mirror, this year’s second live-action adaptation of the classic fairy tale is infinitely superior to its predecessor.
A lavishly mounted saga which effortlessly blends style with substance, Snow White and the Huntsman will likely appeal to multiplex goers as well as the cognoscente.
Working from a script co-authored by Hossein Amini, whose earlier credits include Drive (2011), first-time feature filmmaker Rupert Sanders brings the familiar story to life with panache.
Right away, the makeover zeroes in on the ultra-wicked queen (Theron, in Monster-ous form) who has seized control of the kingdom by murdering the rightful ruler.
Understandably upset at her magic mirror’s prediction that she will eventually be overthrown by her stepdaughter (Stewart), the vain monarch dispatches a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to track down and kill the fair lass.
In true fairy tale tradition, the would-be assassin has a change of heart and pitches his lot with the princess who leads a rebel army to reclaim the throne.
The final assault on the fortified castle, complete with flaming torches, clanging metal and hundreds of horsemen, is efficiently orchestrated.
The medieval universe is wondrously recreated, right from the ornate costumes to the dark forest with its caboodle of creatures both beastly and benign.
The dwarves portrayed by regular-sized actors like Bob Hoskins and Ray Winstone digitally shrunk to pint-size, are rather humourless and appear only after an hour has elapsed.
Such glitches aside, Snow White and the Huntsman is a resplendent fantasy which is never less than richly entertaining.