VOD Spotlight: The Huntsman: Winter’s War

It’s been four years since we took a journey with Snow White and her Huntsman. Now, in the new film The Huntsman: Winter’s War, we see what happened before that film. As Ravenna’s (Charlize Theron) wicked ways grow, her battle with her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) careens forward.

After a life-altering event, Freya leaves Ravenna’s kingdom to create her own legacy and come out from under her sister’s rule. In her new kingdom, Freya is now ruling with an iron fist, collecting children from the territories her armies invade in an effort raise a Huntsman army loyal to protecting her and her kingdom. But there comes a time when the ice princess Freya must divide her two prized recruits, Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain). It’s the time when love has blossomed between the two, and Freya fears love will erode their loyalty to her.

When the mirror that holds the ultimate power is unleashed, it escalates the battle that already rages as Freya’s forces conquer the land. It will be up to Eric and his band of friends to save the land from total devastation.

In 2012, the release of Snow White and the Huntsman opened a new journey into a classic tale. In that land, we were greeted by a higher level of violence and a more realistic feel to the classic struggles, alongside some creepy computer-generated dwarves that stuck with me. The dwarves are considerably less disturbing visually and help bring comic relief to this film. Theron and Blunt are the sisters leading with relentless vigor; both deliver solid, but unspectacular, performances. Hemsworth as the smitten Eric felt slightly out of place at times. Yes, he’s funny, witty and bold, but I felt his transitions into and out of those divergent emotions didn’t roll off as expected.

This is a film for fans of fantasy and fans of the original film. Winter’s War is pleasant, but I did not find myself engaged in the story enough to enjoy all this film had to offer. I asked my mirror on the wall which of the two films with the Huntsman was better. It told me this one, and I agree.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War is available beginning August 23 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.

© 2016 Universal Studios Credit: Giles Keyte