HOLLYWOOD—Charlize Theron proved that when she plays villain she plays the role with delicious chaos. In 2012, she played the villainous role in “Snow White and the Huntsman” as the wicked Queen Ravenna. Well, Theron has returned to that same wicked role, but this time with an equal adversary in her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) in “The Huntsman: Winter’s War.”
This flick while many would consider a sequel is actually a presequel, that looks at the dynamics of Ravenna and her reign of terror that started far sooner than when she set her sights on Snow White. Her ability to convince her younger sister that she has her best interest in play is a testament to how well Theron inhibits the role that she portrays with such subtlety, precision and poise.
The bulk of the narrative revolves around Freya whose world is upended when her newborn child is killed at the hands of her lover, but all is not as it appears as the story moves along, because Freya becomes the Ice Queen literally and figuratively. She manifests her own army of child soldiers and makes it her life goal to ensure that her warriors realize that love is nothing more than an illusion.
As a spectator, you are left asking the question who is more evil Queen Ravenna or Queen Freya. Guess it is proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Blunt proves that she can exhibit the role of villain just as well as her co-star Theron, and does so with little effort from the spectator’s eye; it’s evident that Blunt was well- cast in the role.
The audience is soon reignited with Eric, The Huntsman, who is portrayed again by Chris Hemsworth. This time around the narrative sheds a bit of light on his backstory and the love that he lost, Sara (Jessica Chastain). Sara proves to be a badass who can wield a bow-and-arrow better than any of her adversaries.
When Freya discovers their betrayal she decides to manifest a ruse to make the Huntsman suspect that she was responsible for murdering the only woman he ever loved. As the tale fast-forwards to the present, it becomes a hunt to find the magical mirror whose powers are still left to be understood, as Freya sights her sights on the magic that consumed her sister.
My biggest issue with the flick is the climax; it takes a bit of time to get things moving and when it occurs, the movie ends. As a viewer, you feel a bit cheated by the movie. It’s not as grand or epic as one would expect it to be. I mean we’re dealing with two characters who are wickedly evil and when the truth surfaces the battle barely last but 2 minutes. More a battle is pinned between the Huntsman and Queen Ravenna. As a viewer, you are disappointed by the battle between Freya and Ravenna which could be far grandeur considering their epic abilities.
If anything, the evident theme echoed throughout “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is that love conquers all, and more than anything love is the quintessential thing every human being desires to accomplish. It instills fear, anger, rage, sadness, grief, confidence, revenge and a load of other emotions. There are also some great visuals courtesy of the Ice Queen and her wicked sister that will not only mesmerize the youngsters, but adults alike.
I was a fan of “Snow White and the Huntsman,” so I was eagerly waiting for this installment, based on the trailers and teasers I witnessed. Be advised “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is more a tale about Freya than anyone else. Expect action, but it’s not as big as one would hope for it to be.