Maybe it was the performances, maybe it was the script. Most likely both. But I found myself in the odd position of not caring that much about what happened to the two title characters. I wouldn't call their performances bad, just so-so and not emotionally compelling enough to draw me in. Chris Hemsworth was by far the better of the two, I think, but…I dunno. For some reason, I just wasn't feeling it.
I did care about Snow White as a child. Loved the young actress who played her at that age. She had real screen presence and genuine charm. But Kristen Stewart…not so much. I haven't seen the Twilight movies, so as far as I can recall, this is the only thing I've seen her in. From the preview clips I saw, I really thought I would like her, but based on this, I can't say I'm impressed. Since they were messing around with the fairy tale anyway, I wanted my Snow White to be feisty and more kick-ass. (Yes, I know she was imprisoned for about half her life and not privy to martial arts training…heh…but there could have been scenes after her escape where she was actively learning to fight and not just defend herself in one particular conveniently foreseen situation.)
Ah, well. At least she wasn't a wimp. I would call her a survivor, which I suppose is all the script really required of her.
Luckily, I became emotionally vested in some of the supporting characters/actors, from William (both child and adult versions) and young Snow White to the dwarves and Anna (wasn't that her name—the scarred woman who gave them shelter?).
Of the major actors, I was most impressed with Charlize Theron, although I don't feel she was 100% pitch perfect. When she was quiet and menacing, she was truly chilling. But on the periodic occasions where she dropped the menacing tone and suddenly screamed her lines, I stopped seeing her as the Evil Queen and my brain went, "Oh, there's Charlize Theron screaming her lines to show she's losing patience and really means business."
Sorry, but you've really got to have a Glenda Jackson- or Anthony Hopkins-type voice to pull that off. And CT, however brilliant, does not. Wish she or the director had made a different choice on those occasions.
And I can't tell if the ambiguity of a certain couple of scenes came from trying to turn the fairy tale on its head or if they were just avoiding commitment one way or the other in hopes of continuing the story in a sequel. I suspect it's the latter.
Either way ::definite spoiler alert here:: I was left confused as to whether the kiss that broke the curse was due to "true love" that The Huntsman felt for Snow White or "true love" that he felt for his late wife but which broke the curse anyway simply because it was…well…true love.
But if any true love would do, I felt like William truly loved Snow, so why didn't his kiss work? Did it boil down to what Snow felt for the men involved? If so, I couldn't really tell how she felt about one versus the other. There were a couple of brief, odd looks Snow gave the huntsman which were obviously meant to signify something (possibly romantic interest), but it was far from clear to me.
And frankly, I hope it wasn't. I really don't want a love triangle. (If there is one, I'm rooting for whatever William wants. Or possibly The Hunstman/Anna. Hee.)
No more spoilers from here on…
Overall, I'd say the movie was okay to good. Visually, it was very impressive. Loved the Enchanted Forest and the fairies, in particular.
I don't care to see it a second time and had I known in advance what my reaction to it would be, I'd have waited for DVD. Or I would have been okay with not seeing it, too. While I didn't consider it a waste of time or want my money back. I just shrugged and thought, "Eh…could have been worse."