Viewed – 21 April 2016 Cinema
Following some controversy over Kristen Stewart and the director of Snow White and the Huntsman, this sequel has languished in development with us not really knowing what we were getting. Turns out a sort of origin tale and a sort of follow up, with mixed results. Chris Hemsworth returns as the charismatic Huntsman whose growing love for fellow warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain) quickly catches the eye of bitter Freya, the sister of Charlize Theron’s Ravenna who has now turned Ice Queen following the death of her child and forbids the land from experiencing love.
Despite lacking the scope of the actually very good Snow White and the Hunstman, and possibly on a smaller budget – this is still an entertaining ride. Hemsworth is again charismatic even if his (Scottish?) accent is pretty bad. The same can also be said for Chastain who makes for a bad-ass warrior woman but strays awkwardly between Irish and Scottish. Thankfully then their love affair and the rivalry between Emily Blunt’s Ice Queen and Theron’s Ravenna are all handled well and make up for what is otherwise quite simple fantasy fair. The action, especially some awesome fight choreography is exciting, and we also get a couple of Dwarfs in the form of Nick Frost and Rob Brydon who makes for perfect comedy support as does a scene-stealing Sheridan Smith.
Considering how much the character is mentioned, the lack of an appearance by Snow White seemed odd (even if recast). Also I’d have liked some larger-scale battles and a few more creatures and effects going on … but what we have instead is a focused tale of love and manipulation and rivalry that I thought worked a treat. Perhaps dial one’s expectations back a tad, considering how spoilt we have been with Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings etc. and you should still get a kick out of this.
Verdict: 3 /5