The Ice Queen Freya (Emily Blunt, Sicario) resurrects her dead sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road) and both plan to conquer the land. Only Eric (Chris Hemsworth, Avengers: Age Of Ultron) and his secret wife Sara (Jessica Chastain, The Martian) can stop the powerful siblings in this sequel to 2012's Snow White & The Huntsman.
Not even halfway into Winter's War, you'll beg the question; "Do we need this movie?", and the answer is simple; absolutely not. Snow White & The Huntsman was a film that fared well at the worldwide box office but received a mostly negative response from both critics and audiences alike. Most of us however agreed that the standout was Chris Hemsworth as Eric the Huntsman, so it made sense for Universal to center the follow up around him. But the story here is very weak and it's one that no one was really asking for.
Kristen Stewart's Snow White makes no appearance in this sequel and instead the story centers on Eric, a charming and dangerous Huntsman is Queen Freya's army. He was taken as a child from his home along with every child in his village. Due to Freya losing her own child she decided that she would raise an army instead, in that army are Eric and Sara, the two best soldiers in Freya's army. Love is forbidden by Freya so when these two Huntsman fall head over heels for one another, they are exiled.
Throughout the film I was wondering why Universal felt like this story was good enough to warrant a feature film. The story is so lackluster as are the visuals in this incoherent CGI world. This feels like a movie made by studio execs. I often refrain from using the term "cash grab" because really....every big budget film is a "cash grab" but that's exactly what Winter's War feels like. The sole purpose of this film was to make some decent box office and I can't blame Universal for doing this, but they could have at least tried to come up with a decent story and script. The entire film feels stale apart from a few fun sequences involving Dwarves played by Nick Frost and Rob Brydon, every time the film takes itself seriously I was left bored because the story isn't interesting at all even when Charlize Theron makes her return as the evil Queen Ravenna.
I imagine Hemsworth and Theron were contractually obligated to return for this film but it's a shocker how they managed to sign on both Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt to this very weak script. The performances are nothing to shout about either despite the cast being fantastic. Hemsworth is of course as charming as ever and he's fine in the role. Chastain's obviously fake Scottish accent was off putting and Blunt and Theron seemed like they were really overdoing it. The standouts are Nick Frost and Rob Brydon in their small (pardon the pun) roles as two Dwarves who assist Eric and Sara on their journey to stop the evil Queens, they were really funny and the film was enjoyable whenever those two were on screen, but that's the most enjoyment Winter's War has.
This is a pointless and incredibly lackluster sequel that no one wanted. If you liked the first film, you might find some pleasure with this follow on but otherwise I recommend skipping this. I'm giving The Huntsman: Winter's War a 4.7/10.