Reviews for "Snow White and the Huntsman," a dark and violent retelling of the fairy tale, are all over the map. This movie follows the recent release of a comic adaptation -- "Mirror, Mirror" with Julia Roberts and Nathan Lane -- and they couldn't be more different. "Snow White and the Huntsman" is driven by special effects, and a vicious queen, played by Charlize Theron. Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is much more feisty too -- far, far from a naive fairy tale character. Sounds like a movie you will love or hate. Here are excerpts from reviews:
-- Los Angeles Times: It is an absolute wonder to watch and creates a warrior princess for the ages. But what this revisionist fairy tale does not give us is a passionate love — its kisses are as chaste as the snow is white. ... This is a movie that is built from the ground up for maximum visual impact — the sewage that Snow White must swim through is wretched, the rock-hewn castle seems hand-carved out of the cliffs, the mythical white stag in a forest lush with bewitching flora and fauna is otherworldly to behold.
-- Washington Post: Overlong, overcrowded, overstimulating and with an over-the-top performance by Charlize Theron as the evil queen Ravenna, the movie is a virtual orchard of toxic excess, starting with the unnecessarily sprawling cast of characters. ... Directed by first-timer Rupert Sanders, "Snow White and the Huntsman" feels less like a movie than a deadly cocktail of movie cliches, all of which have been thrown into a blender, set to "slow" and pureed for two hours.
-- Tribune newspapers: At its best, "Snow White and the Huntsman" feels less like a desperate blockbuster and more like a handmade object. Anachronistic wisecracks are nowhere to be found. It's a rather grave adventure, and [Kristen] Stewart isn't required to carry the movie but simply do her part, affectingly.
-- NPR: Stewart and [Chris] Hemsworth have so little chemistry that any romantic undertones between them seem clumsily stapled to the story. (The film's PG-13 rating mentions "brief sensuality," so there must be some; when it occurs does not come immediately to mind, which is ominous in sensuality terms.) Moreover, once you've seen the queen bellow and roar, you've seen just about everything she does throughout, aside from CGI aging effects. Theron can be an actress of sublime subtlety, but this role shows off only her power and volume.