(WLTX) - There seems to be a surplus of fairy-tale adaptations these days. Besides two network television series, we now have the second of two Snow White movies in the same year!
Yes, it may be called "Snow White and the Huntsman," but, as usual, the real star of the film is the evil Queen. And Charlize Theron does not disappoint as she literally sucks the life out of her young victims. I'd say between "Monster," "Young Adult," and this movie - she's scored an evil trifecta! If there is any flaw in her character, it would be that we don't feel sorry for the woman. She's heartless, soulless and completely unforgiving. Yet, even though there's no emotional connection, it's hard not to be entranced by her performance.
Unfortunately, keeping a menacing tone with a story involving dwarves, children and not the fairest of Snow Whites is pretty much impossible. Still, they manage to keep it gritty. While they're never fearsome, the dwarves are rather dangerous and it's fun to spot the various English actors who portray them. And, despite what you may think of Kristen Stewart, the girl is clearly not afraid to get her fingernails dirty. So it may not be frightening throughout - but, whenever macabre is an option, it's utilized.
Fairy tales will never die - but, as in most cases, they'll never live up to the standard that Disney sets in their animation department either. I've said it before (and I'm saying it again now) but, in the end, every Snow White film will be unsuccessfully compared to the classic from 1937. But, if I had to select a runner-up, this would be it (followed closely by a little-known version in the 90s, starring Sigourney Weaver).
So, maybe it's not all that it promises, but it does have grand moments of entertainment. Hi-ho, hi-ho...just set your standards low!
By Lee O. Smith, News19 Movie Reviewer