I saw the term prequel/sequel thrown around for this film and thought to myself “Gosh, that’s redundant!”.
Because how can a film be a prequel and sequel?
Well The Huntsman: Winter’s War certainly is.
As two evil sisters prepare to conquer the land; two renegades – Eric the Huntsman – who previously aided Snow White in defeating Ravenna, and his forbidden lover, Sara set out to stop them.
Snow White And The Huntsman succeeded in winning the ‘Twin Films‘ war of 2012 when it went up against Mirror, Mirror.
So much so that it’s now received a sequel in 2016 that finds itself moving away from the tale of Snow White and toward that of the Huntsman (which was strongly alluded to in the previous films ending).
Chris Hemsworth returns in the titular role along with Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna (because prequel), and they find themselves joined by Emily Blunt as Queen Freya and Jessica Chastain as Sara.
That’s Oscar and Golden Globe winners surrounding Thor in an amazing fantasy/adventure world.
And somehow Hemsworth and Chastain pull off really fun sounding European accents! (I can’t pinpoint where, but it’s something sort of Scottish/Welsh/Irish/Game Of Thrones).
Strong cast aside, a lot of what held the previous film back from giving the audience confidence that a sequel would be a good thing, was the story. A darker take on the story of Snow White, with its majesty and grandeur buried under filters of browns and yellows, The Huntsman starts to shift us back to a more magical world.
While blue filters take over some scenes now, the film feels like it has a bit more lightness to it. What was previously “very serious” seems to have been leveraged with whimsy and “love” (which you will be reminded of frequently).
For some this may come off as “cheesy”, but for myself after the first film, I find it to be refreshing. It makes it more about the fairytale and bringing that world’s magic to life by giving it this levity.
Action in the film appears to have gone through the Spinal Tap, with it turned up to 11 based on the previous films outing and this is great as Hemsworth (and his stuntman) are a pleasure to watch during these moments.
And what’s great about these moments is they do not leave out the women, with Chastain getting her own Black Widow-esque like throw downs, along with the other 2 leads definitely getting to cast some spells.
Overall it just comes off as a more fun experience than the previous film, and for that I ended up loving The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
Maybe it's Hemsworth, Chastain, Blunt and Theron being in one picture together, but I really, really enjoyed The Huntsman: Winter's War.