"The Huntsman: Winter's War" is sequel/prequel/spin-off to 2012's "Snow White and the Huntsman" and it has Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Nick Frost, and Sam Claflin reprising their roles from that movie, with Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain being the two notable newcomers to this movie. The plot is that Chris Hemsworth must find the magic mirror from the first film after it's gone missing and along the way, he comes across Jessica Chastain and they engage in a forbidden romance while on their adventure. Meanwhile, Emily Blunt plays a more homicidal version of Elsa from "Frozen" and now her and her sister, Theron, are together to stop Hemsworth and Chastain from obtaining the mirror.
With "Snow White and the Huntsman", I personally didn't like that movie. It was basically just a style over substance type of adventure with some really neat visuals and decent action, but the story and certain performances (duh, it's Kristen Stewart) were lackluster and ultimately ruined what could've been a unique film. Now we have this movie, a movie that's not even sure if its a prequel or sequel, so it's pretty much a spin-off. While the first movie wasn't good, I wouldn't even go as far as to call it bad. It was just a middle of the road, mediocre CGI show. So how's this movie? Well, now he have our bad "Huntsman" movie.
The first thing that needs to be addressed is the fact that this movie has an extremely talented cast. Hemsworth, Chastain, Theron, and Blunt are all huge talents who have proven themselves with excellent performances in recent years. Hemsworth and Theron in this movie are both passable with the material that they're given, but that's the problem: the material. They both play a bland, one-dimensional hero and villain, respectively, so there's no reason to care about the characters outside of them being played by likable actors. Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain, on the other hand, were both terrible in this movie. First you have Chastain who's impeded by an awful Scottish accent that makes her sound as if the only research she did on Scottish accents was watching episodes of "The Simpsons" with Groundskeeper Willie. Then you have Blunt who overacts the role in every single scene she's in. Her performance reminded me of Jodie Foster in "Elysium", where her performance is literally nothing but her speaking with a weird tone of voice while making bizarre head movements all the time. Honestly speaking, the only legitimately likable performance in this movie is Nick Frost as a comic relief character. Yeah, that's how far this movie has sunk its talented cast.
This movie also offers up a whole lot of nothing for a large portion of the story. The characters aren't interesting in the slightest, so you're left with slow moving scenes where two characters in particular (Hemsworth and Chastain) are talking to each other about God knows what. They're either just walking and talking about their mission that we don't care about, or they're sitting down and spewing out a plethora of horrible romantic dialogue. What makes these moments worse is the complete lack of chemistry between the two of them, which is a shame because of the potential that lies between them given that there's a well written script in the mix. Unfortunately, that's not the case at all and we get a movie that spends a lot of its time doing nothing other than boring the audience.
Also, when the movie starts to pick up in terms of the conflict, things start to get very predictable. I won't spoil everything, but let's just say there's the pathetic "I betrayed you, just kidding, I didn't really betray you, I was just trying to fool the enemy" plot twist in this movie. And it's not only that, but every source of conflict in this movie is borrowed from better movies. Hell, it even steals plot points from "Frozen", and I'm not just talking about Emily Blunt playing Elsa 2.0. This is a lazily written movie that conjures up every cheap story twist whenever it feels necessary.
For the positives, I think this is a good looking movie, which should be no surprise considering that this movie is directed by a visual effects supervisor from the first film; that's made perfectly clear by the quality of the effects and the "story". Anyway, the visuals in this movie are quite good and even downright unique in some scenes, and I also found one entertaining fight scene in the movie's climax, but stuff like this doesn't even come close to saving this movie. You know the sayings about polished turds, and that's what you get with this movie.
"The Huntsman: Winter's War" is nothing more than visually pleasing movie that might mildly entertain some people, but the bad story mixed with the wasted cast and eternally slow pace ruins what could've been all around fun adventure. It's like "Snow White and the Huntsman" in some regards, but at the same time it's worse than that movie since we've seen it all before, this time it being done in even worse fashion.
Rating: Some Ol' Bullshit