DIRECTOR: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt
RELEASE: Out Now
FROM: Universal Pictures
AGE RATING: 12A
It’s hard to choose the most impressive thing about The Huntsman Winter’s War: the extraordinary costumes designed by Hollywood legend Colleen Atwood; the jaw-dropping CGI setpieces; or the star wattage provided by Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron and Jessica Chastain.
And yet, somehow, despite all of this, the one thing you’ll walk away from the cinema talking about is Sheridan Smith, one-time star of Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps. As a dwarf named Mrs Bromwyn, she steals the whole damn film by swearing, swaggering and glowering like a pint-sized and British Melissa McCarthy. Now that’s a giant feat (no pun intended).
Incidentally, you don’t have to have seen the original film, 2012’s Snow White And The Huntsman, as this one’s both a prequel and a sequel; indeed, there’s only one quick glimpse of Snow White and you don’t even see her face – the former Ms White, Kristen Stewart, came nowhere near the production.
Instead what we have is the Huntsman’s origin story as we meet Hemsworth’s Eric as a child; kidnapped by ice queen Freya (Blunt, trying hard not to sing Let It Go), he’s trained to be a warrior alongside his eventual wife Sara (Chastain). However, Freya isn’t too fond of twue lurve and so makes sure they’re separated, leaving him free to go on a quest to find the Magic Mirror so beloved of Snow White’s now-dead foe, Queen Ravenna (Theron).
Some of the accents are bizarre – are Hemsworth and Chastain supposed to be Scottish or Irish? – and it drags for the first third; additionally, you won’t hurt your brain figuring out the plot twists. But once Smith turns up the film gets a kick up the arse and by the climax, it’s kicking arse, too. Don’t let this one go.