As his kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, young prince Vlad Tepes must become a monster feared by his own people in order to obtain the power needed to protect his own family, and the families of his kingdom.
Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.
Evil sorceress Queen Ravenna's powers allow her to know that her younger sister Freya, whose powers have not yet emerged, is not only involved in an illicit affair with an already elsewhere engaged nobleman Andrew, but is also pregnant with his child. Sometime after Freya gives birth to a baby girl, Freya discovers that Andrew not only reneged on his promise of elopement with her but also murdered their child. In a grief-fueled rage, her broken heart freezes over and she kills him with her sudden emergence of powers - the elemental control of ice..
Liam Neeson (Narrator) and Charlize Theron (Ravenna) were both in A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) as a married couple. See more »
At the Winter Palace, just before he tries to jump, Eric pulls out an axe. Later after having failed the jump and crashed on the roofs, he safes himself with a axe that has a very different blade. The axe shown in the beginning would not have been able to grab the edge of the roof. See more »
What does the mirror show you? What do you see? An oft told tale. That of Snow White, how she vanquished the evil Queen Ravenna and took her rightful place on the throne. But there is another story, one you have not yet seen. One that comes long before "happily ever after."
See more »
The world in the Universal logo turns to gold and morphs into a mirror. See more »
In Singapore, the film was edited for a PG13 rating. The distributor chose to remove the sex scene between Sara and the Huntsman. The uncut version was classified NC16. See more »
Castle (The Huntsman: Winter's War Version)
Written by Halsey (as Ashley Frangipane) and Lido (as Peder Losnegård)
Performed by Halsey
Orchestral Arrangements by James Newton Howard
Courtesy of Astralwerks
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
a perfectly adequate movie that is well-made and forgettable
The Huntsman: Winter's War is not too unlike the first movie in one key way: it doesn't really stick too long in the consciousness once it's finished. It's not that there is a lack of quality in the craft in this (sigh) franchise - the first Snow White from 2012 got Oscar nominations for the costume design and visual effects departments, and it's easy to see why: the work put into the mirror on its own, this gold thing that can unfold in liquid on the floor is in the same ball-park as the T-1000 from decades past, and there is attention paid to all of the aesthetics in these 'kingdoms'. But with the stories, especially in the case of Winter's War, there is the sense of sensing a dearth of original plots. It's not even really a full plot in this film but plot points: this happens and then this happens and then and then and so on, and it cribs from Frozen so much that it's hard to ignore.
It's not that everything from the Disney movie is here, but when you start to describe what this story is about - two sisters in royalty are split apart when one of them (Emily Blunt this time as the sister to Charlize Theron's Wicked Queen) loses her son and takes over her kingdom... which is made of ice since she is the Ice Queen, and she decrees there can no longer be love because her love is lost, so then when two people (Hemsworth, returning as the Huntsman, and Jessica Chastain) fall in love, she splits them apart through trickery and then... it's actually not a prequel but a sequel which involves finding the mirror from the last movie (stolen/taken away, I forget which, it's explained in an exposition dump), and when a big reveal happens for Hemsworth that (spoiler! not really) Chastain is alive, they decide to go after the Ice Queen herself.
So there's a lot of plot here, a lot of twists and turns that do occur, but that main spine isn't too engaging. The Frozen element comes mostly with the Ice Queen and other characters having a love story happen where you don't expect it to (or, I should say, they *do* love each other, but things happen that makes one of them question again if it's possible and, oh, nevermind). What does still work is the humor; Nick Frost returns as one of the dwarfs from the last movie (the late Bob Hoskins is sorely missed though) along with Rob Brydon (remember him from The Trip movies), and both are spot-on with their comic timing, their deliveries, just finding the things in the scenes to naturally liven things up. Some of it's from the dialog, but a good deal of it feels improvised and when lady dwarfs get introduced into the film there's some fun stuff there as well.
All the actors are here to work, and I didn't see them exactly bored during this; Blunt does her best to give her Ice Queen Freya conviction and villainy (and, later on, some sense of true confusion and betrayal), but it's hard to go up against Theron when she owns this role once again of Ravenna. She's not on screen too long, and it feels just slightly contrived how she returns, but she makes her mark as a conniving, devilish presence with aplomb. Curiously Kirsten Stewart is out of this movie, though there are points where it feels like she *should* be in this, even as a cameo (there is one scene where technically Snow White is featured, but it's a double of course). This absence gets felt in a narrative that is all about the other characters, which is fine, except that the script lets them down with an adventure-cum-quest-cum-revenge story that feels watered down or half-baked. And there are even some moments, like with a creature that the characters come across to find the mirror, that isn't a terribly convincing special effect.
I almost feel like I need to write this so I don't forget most of the movie in a few days; it's not *bad* in the sense of it being too stupid or too illogical (though there are certainly points where you think 'yeah, that's a bad idea to, say, make that jump and hope to connect with that building even when you know and acknowledge that it's a bad idea'). If it's bad in any way it doesn't have really any artistic reason to exist aside from it being another check box for Universal studio's current Snow White universe property. To put it another way, when you have Liam Neeson narrating and delivering lines about fairy tales that felt hackneyed 60 years ago, you know there's an issue with something that should be made vs could. It's got entertaining bits but isn't worth rushing out to see unless you're a die-hard fantasy fan, and even with that there's the sense of derivation (if not from Frozen there's Game of Thrones as well).
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