By Adam Schalke
With the school year coming to a close, the annual summer blockbuster season is upon us. This is the time of year when action films – good and bad announce their arrival to theaters. Chris Hemsworth’s latest output, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” a sequel to 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” falls into the latter category.
At face value, the film at least looks promising. Even when he’s not working under a Marvel contract, Chris Hemsworth proves to be a consistently entertaining performer. Together with Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron and Jessica Chastain joining him, three of the most acclaimed and popular actresses today, this movie should be a slam dunk, but alas, it falls short.
The film suffers from an apparently cut-and-paste action movie template, complete with gratuitous fight scenes and easter eggs hinting that yet another installation could be on the horizon. The film, loosely based off of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, also lends itself to absurdity and much too easily (the final fight scene with Theron taking on Blunt, Hemsworth, and Chastain is particularly awkward).
One highlight of the film is Chastain’s character Sara, Hemsworth’s love interest. Unlike Blunt and Theron, Chastain hasn’t really made much of a foray into the over-the-top blockbuster business, preferring more “realistic” roles that come closer to Oscar season. It’s always good to see someone of such acting caliber leave their comfort zone. Her talent would be appreciated in other films in similar genres, but unfortunately this isn’t one of them.
2 out of 5 Torches