Right off the bat — or battle ax, if you prefer to go medieval — you’ll notice the Seven Dwarfs have been kicked to the ditch in favor of a big galoot with Han Solo swagger and a big stick to match, Eric the Huntsman.
Tough to argue that one. After all, it is “Thor’s” Chris Hemsworth. Why is that so important? Just ask the anxious females, all ages really, if they’re excited to see “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Everyone mentions how hot Hemsworth is, almost to the point that the film perhaps should have been called “The Strapping Huntsman and Some Skinny, Whiny White Girl.”
But it’s not called that, is it?
This is, after all, Snow White’s story, and so the producers called on the supernatural temptress, the team leader of all things Edwardian, the maven of mindless movie magic, the Bella of the Balla in Walla Walla — Ms. Kristen Stewart.
Gratefully, she doesn’t just sit around pouting, waiting for some handsome prince to sweep her off her slippered feet. She’s actually locked in a castle tower pouting, waiting for the “Children of the Corn’s” brother of the Evil Queen to come grope her, so she can slash his face with a rusty nail and escape through the toilet tunnel a la “Shawshank Redemption.”
Resourceful little thing, isn’t she?
She makes her way into the Dark Forest, where, it turns out, the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron) can’t work her dark magic. So, the Queen strong-arms the resident bad boy, Mr. Huntsman, to bring Snow back to the mean and nasty castle.
But those pleading eyes of Miss White not only won’t allow the Huntsman to hand her over, but now he becomes her protector.
Now enter the dwarfs, all famous British actors scrunched down into tiny bodies, who are, of course, cranky at first, but then express their true devotion to the kingdom’s only hope for salvation — and let’s face it, a hefty box office — the pure Snow White.
OK, here are the highlights. Charlize Theron can play scary evil very well. Her “Mirror Mirror” looks like a giant cymbal that oozes out a golden monk guy. Very cool. She makes Julia Roberts’ version look like Glinda the Good Witch. Kristen Stewart was not afraid to get her hands dirty as a warrior princess. Oo-rah! Hemsworth makes a good brooding tough guy with his never-washed hair and yet gleaming-white teeth.
The movie feels much more epic, like “Snow White and the Seven Hobbits.” Big battle scenes, trudging through the shire, loud and ugly trolls — all very Middle-earth-esque.
It was actually fairly impressive if you like your fairy tales with a bit more blood, sweat and tears. I don’t know how much tougher they could make Snow White, unless they replaced one of her arms with a Gatling gun and gave her a hockey mask to wear.
So it turns out, this “Snow White and the Huntsman” suits me just fine.