Review: ‘Huntsman Winter’s War’ is Contrived Fun
“The Huntsman Winter’s War” takes us down a familiar path.
UPDATE: The score has been refactored for the Blu-ray release.
While “Snow White and the Huntsman” puts an interesting twist on a classic tale, “The Huntsman Winter’s War” distances itself even further. Exploring the events that take place before and after the first film, “Winter’s War” is supplemental, but how does it hold up?
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Etc.) – 2
As the title of this review suggests, the word “contrived” will get its fair share of use throughout. While some elements of the plot hold supplemental value in reference to the first film, as a standalone movie “The Huntsman Winter’s War” is systematically predictable. If the plot was the only element that fell victim to predictability then the film could use another cinematic element as a crutch. Unfortunately the contrived nature bleeds into the characters as well.
Freya (Emily Blunt) is a stereotypical villain that is spawned from the events of her past. The Huntsman aka Eric (Chris Hemsworth) is very one dimensional and his love interest Sara (Jessica Chastain) carries that same singular trait. The relationship between these characters falls right into where you would expect but this also leaves little room for any surprises. While I had no problems with any of the performances in this film, these poorly developed characters did not allow the actors to truly flourish.
Of the many negative cinematic qualities in this film, there are a few redeeming elements. These positives may be minor in comparison to the film’s contrived nature but may be strong enough to help audiences tolerate this movie.
The choreographed fight sequences are typical but nonetheless well executed. Combine those sequences with a colorful environment that is constantly changing and there is an adequate amount of visual splendor. A lot of that splendor is reliant upon the use of CGI but for the most part, that is not distracting.
Overall, “The Huntsman Winter’s War” doesn’t feel fluid and that lack of fluidity bleeds into many other elements. The visuals are a minor redeeming factor but hardly comes close to outweighing the faults.
Entertainment Value – 3
If you can overlook the cinematic flaws, “The Huntsman Winter’s War” can be mindless fun for some. Although it’s mostly devoid of depth when it comes to plot and character development, the battles themselves are enjoyable. Having a strong powerhouse like the Huntsman accompanied by a quick and nimble Sara makes the action moments pretty diverse for those with simple tastes.
But while these moments may carry some diversity in their structure, there isn’t anything particular special about this adventure in comparison to other films of the same nature. It’s fun but redundant fun which left me without any sort of lasting impression from the film.
Re-Watchability – 2.5
While not a quality film, this film could definitely pass as background noise. The elements of simple fun bring “The Huntsman Winter’s War” into a level of re-watchability that would be passable for a channel surfing watch when nothing else is on. It’s an acceptable means of passing the time but not an adventure I would seek out again.
Blu-ray Extras – 3.5
I got my hands on a copy of the 4K Blu-ray of this film and I have to say it vastly improved “The Huntsman Winter’s War’s” value. It’s filled with the extras you would expect like commentary and deleted scenes but then there’s so much more.
In addition to the deleted scenes, there’s a gag reel that’s quite funny and some other extras that expand the story. In addition to the listed extras, this Blu-ray comes with an extended edition of the film. This edition is much more fulfilling in the realm of plot and character development and looks stunning on your HD or UHD 4K television. The colors are absolutely stunning looking rich and vibrant in full 4K HDR resolution.
You can check out the unboxing and video review below.
- Entertainment Value
- Blu-ray Extras
"The Huntsman Winter's War" may woo audiences with its colorful setting and cliché action sequences, but the contrived plot and characters will be a deterrent for many.
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