The Huntsman: Winter’s War

I’m trying to remember all of the crap movies I saw while I was not updating the larger website, and when you’re talking about a movie like this [especially if you’ve seen it!], you can see why I would consider it a total waste of time to expend more than a few minutes talking about it. I, to my surprise, actually ended up quite liking the Snow White film with Kristen Stewart, and thought it was a nice, gritty take on the old fairy tale. This one is the obvious cash-in sequel without its major star, but its real problem is that they just couldn’t come up with a story, so they decided to just use EVERY story.

You may have heard that this film is both prequel and sequel to the previous Snow White film. That’s because the first part takes place before Snow White, then there’s a long pause, during which we’re supposed to understand the first film takes place, and then the rest of this film takes place after. Honestly, I can’t remember much about the actual story except that it bears the overwhelming stink of being made up as they went along. The Huntsman actually had this earlier wife. The evil queen Ravenna actually had an Ice Queen sister. Ravenna betrayed her sister because she was jealous of her true love and she bore a child that would be more beautiful than her and this and that and the other. The story follows a kind of and then this, and then that, and then this, but then that, and even more this, and yet again that, but over here, this other thing, and before long, that thing, too. It’s just aimless and it’s abundantly obvious that they had no story to tell.

It’s interrupted every few minutes for some useless and non-dazzling special effects. I can watch pretty much any special effects, but all of these were so unmotivated by the story, or any real reason for existing, and all undistinguished and uninspired. The performances also were a big poop. You have to credit Charlize Theron for just going for it, but the movie doesn’t even have enough sense to make her outrageous campy fun, and poor Emily Blunt looks the part pretty well, but has no real motivation [She’s evil because she’s heartbroken! So she tortures lovers! But she can be brought around by tenderness! But she’s still vindictive!] and no real character. Jessica Chastain is the generic “badass huntress,” And poor Chris Hemsworth somehow remains “not bad” and yet “totally bland” in everything he does.

So why am I even writing about it? Because the very lack of any purpose for being, the very lack of any effort expended to make it good, the concept of hundreds or even thousands of people engaged in making and marketing something that everyone understands is of absolutely no value… makes it kind of remarkable. Some movies are bad, some movies are disasters, this one is just a placeholder. It’s like one of those big fake plastic TVs used in furniture stores; a big, elaborate thing with absolutely no purpose, meant only to take space [and glean as much money as possible], then proceed directly to the trash pile. Even I, Frankenstein or the latest Underworld trash heap has at least some ostensible reason for existing, and claim to someone’s attention. This one; if you see it, you’ll know what I mean. It’s kind of amazing for being so absolutely vacuous.

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