PG-13, 2 hr. 7 min. Directed By: Rupert Sanders. Release Date: Jun 1, 2012.
I want to know two things about the casting of Snow White and the Hunstman: the first is in which world in the Bizzaroverse would anyone, ever, think Kristen Steweart was hotter than Charlize Theron and the second is who thought casting Mopey the Dwarf as Snow White was going to be a good idea. While the first is improbable, as Ms. Theron would win the “hot or not” contest on the first day of her period, dressed in tacky rags, as I believe the line from She’s All That goes. But, if you make Snow White sufficiently emo, and empower her in a way that when she says “I’m special and tortured,” people actually believe her, ole Mopey isn’t such a bad choice. And no, I can’t believe I’m saying she shouldn’t be executed, either.
Going through this, I thought Charlize Theron was awesome, although clearly not putting a whole lot of effort into the game, and Bob Hoskins helped carry the middle 40 minutes of the movie, playing the dwarf with sight beyond sight, or whatever you might want to call it. The rest of the cast was varying degrees of abysmal. The real star of this show was the special effects, although it wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before. When you do something simple, or something that isn’t terribly unique, the least you can do is make those things well done. And SWATH manages to do those effects very neatly.
I wasn’t so sold on the mythos or story line, mostly because it appeared that they cobbled together the basic Snow White fairy tale and merged it with just about every other sword and sorcery movie ever created. It’s also just as clear that some portions of the movie were seriously inspired by the Disney classic animated version of this same tale. I had concerns about the scenes where Charlize Theron cries out a single tear. Not because the evil queen was crying, but because I couldn’t figure out why she was shedding a tear in any of the occasions but the last.
While I loved Charlize Theron, I didn’t love her character, the problem being a design flaw: I wasn’t supposed to love her, but she felt unfinished. I wanted to know WHY the evil queen was evil. There are dark hints that she, like my most recent ex-girlfriend, was simply a psycho hose-beast. But, until the very last third of the movie, I don’t understand what her motivation, and even once we learn (a VAGUE outline of the problem) I want more details, because the events we see could have ended with something positive, but they clearly didn’t.
SWATH isn’t without problems: two of its three headliners are terrible, although I’m pretty convinced that the two bad ones will only have short futures in Hollywood. The story drags through the “chase” component of the movie, and the mythos is a strange conglomeration of fantasy archetypes. But, if you’re going to compare it to the OTHER Snow White knock-off this year, SWATH wins on all counts. I didn’t go in with any expectations, and I wasn’t disappointed. I also forgot to mention that I was kind of impressed SPECIFICALLY with the effects that made believable dwarves out of folks who weren’t, well, little people.
On a meaner note, I'm pretty sure this variant of the evil queen's crown was supposed to prove that she had already conquered the kingdom of Las Vegas... or Cher was originally supposed to be the queen.