The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016) Poster

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Exciting fast moving feature
The cast is nice , Chris Hemsworth , Charlize Theron , Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt are all accomplished actors and they did their roles well. The story had an obvious ending and an obvious twist but then that's not what the movie was all about. If you want to watch an action packed fantasy drama with some decent CGI effects and decent acting , well you cant discount this film . I personally found this better than the first one as the first one was tad slower and seemed to drag on a bit perhaps more so because of snow white and her frozen acting . Here the frost queen acted more fluidly . I did enjoy the CGI as well because it was not over used and the colouring of the gold with black in contrast with the ice queens blue and white went really well. In my opinion its definitely worth a watch.
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Well, I enjoyed it.
Aniviel211 April 2016
Some people really need to get over themselves, judging by some of the reviews for this film. It is a fantasy based on children's stories - what the hell were they expecting, Hamlet or Henry V?

It was a fun ride with plenty of action, plenty of humour, and a great cast - Chris Hemsworth brings his usual cheery action hero to the mix, Jessica Chastain was a good addition as The Huntsman's wife, and Emily Blunt played the fragile Ice Queen wonderfully well. The Dwarfs were comic relief as always, but it worked well with fewer of them and a couple of females in the mix.

The story wasn't overcomlicated but if I want that, I'll go watch Memento. Chill out a little, folks.
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Better than the previous one
lajospn23 April 2016
I don't know why people complain about this one. I went in expecting a fantasy romp with beautiful but evil queens ... and that's exactly what I got! In spades! The other thing that stood out is that the actors are all top shelf. For guys like me, seeing *three* of the most gorgeous actresses appear together (Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain) in a movie is a feast for the eyes. And they all can act! The supporting cast is great (bunch of awesome British guys) as well. The dialog is light- hearted and the love story believable. On top of all this, the story is pretty linear and makes sense. (In a fairy tale-way, of course, but what do you expect?) Most surprisingly, I did feel emotionally attached to the characters. Each had clear motivations and I felt for their plight. Lovers get separated then reunited, a mother loses a child and something snaps inside her, an evil queen wants revenge and power.

Overall, I can only recommend this movie. You won't get bored for a second and might even get emotional by the end.
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A slick and enjoyable fantasy romp, let down by a muddled plot and basic dialogue.
missashton926 April 2016
The Huntsman: Winter's War is great fodder for fans of the genre; the slenderly plotted film moves along at a nice pace and the cast do a decent job with what they're given. Although it's undoubtedly a cash-grab sequel (do not believe the "before Snow White" marketing), it manages to argue its case for existing fairly well. Contractual obligations aside, Hemsworth and Theron resume their roles with great gusto, with Hemsworth arguably vastly improving on his performance in the first film. Throw in Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain and you're confronted with a pretty enviable - if surprising - cast for a film of this level.

The basic driving plot of the film is centred on Eric's (the previously anonymous Huntsman from the first outing) dubiously arranged quest to locate and return the powerful magic mirror, before it falls into the wrong (icy) hands. Accompanied by some foul-mouthed dwarfs, the scenes in the forests and fields are probably some of the better sequences in the film, if only for their tonal consistency rather than their originality. These portions of the film focus on action and comedy, and the camaraderie comes across well enough.

This quest is framed at both the start and end of the film by a strange and rather hastily delivered - yet nonetheless enjoyable - story of two sisters and a sad betrayal. Ravenna (Theron) and Freya (Blunt) are supposedly the closest of siblings who become parted by a very dark event that awakens a great power within Freya. Fleeing her sister's kingdom in a mix of despair, anger and confusion, Freya sets up home in the mysterious "North" and uses her new strength to gather children to train as her army. It is here that the two stories are tied together, with stolen children Eric and Sara (Chastain) growing to become two of her trusted Huntsmen. The scenes in the North are mostly effective and judiciously used; the muted colour palette here isn't allowed to become boring, and this mini saga is undoubtedly uplifted by Blunt's delicate performance.

If you have seen the trailers for this film and are keen to experience the full thing, go in with realistic expectations and you'll have a fun two hours; I am certain that the vast majority of prominent critics will despise this film, but it wasn't made for them. Yes, it's a patchwork production of popular elements from other sources and is generally a rather campy affair, but that's what makes it such an inoffensive and entertaining film. There is plenty to like here, if you give it a chance.
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Uneven prequel/sequel with elements that are both superior and inferior to 'Snow White and the Huntsman'
TheLittleSongbird19 September 2016
'Snow White and the Huntsman' from personal opinion was neither a good or awful film. It was visually stunning and had a terrific Charlize Theron, but suffered from a badly miscast Kristen Stewart, a clunky script and muddled story.

'Huntsman: Winter's War' was at times enjoyable, but uneven prequel/sequel. It has elements that are superior, but also some inferior elements too. The best asset is the production values. The film is very beautiful to look at, with luscious but also atmospheric photography, Gothic but also elegant and rustic set and scenery design and lavish costumes, particularly Ravenna and Freya. Most of the special effects are fine, especially the ones for the golden mirror liquid and ice. There is an exception and that was the forest beast, which had a cheaply rendered video game look and didn't mesh with the background.

Once again, James Newton Howard's score complements very well, it's beautifully orchestrated, rousing, elegiac, atmosphere-enhancing and very involving. This said, the one for 'Snow White and the Huntsman' is better and more inspired, the score here also has a few forgettable moments and doesn't really stand out among other fantasy-adventure scores and occasionally derivative. There are good performances here, Emily Blunt's sinister and moving Freya standing out. Another standout is Charlize Theron, Ravenna is far less developed (Freya is a much more interesting character here, and the only one that's developed well) and somewhat one-dimensional as a villain, but Theron makes the most of her limited screen time, bringing great energy, an at times camp edge (though mostly there is more subtlety) and menace.

Rob Brydon, Nick Frost and Sheridan Smith bring some welcome comic relief, this could have easily jarred but was actually a breath of fresh air. The final twenty minutes are thrilling, and the action is slickly edited and choreographed.

Other elements are mixed. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan's direction has solid moments and shows a mastery of visual style, more so than Rupert Sanders for 'Snow White and the Huntsman', but he isn't quite so good stopping the pace flagging or smoothing over narrative cracks. Was mixed on Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain. Hemsworth does have brooding charisma and looks more comfortable, but has a tendency to slur his words and his accent sounds like three different ones constantly changing. Chastain is a great actress and does bring pathos and nuances to her character, but again her accent is unconvincing, with a mix of Scottish and Irish. Their chemistry is much stronger than Hemsworth's and Stewart in 'Snow White and the Huntsman', due to that there actually is some.

Elements here underwhelm drastically. The script is underwritten, simplistic and clunky, with many awkward parts and only properly shining with the dwarfs. The story has some exciting moments, but the pace badly flags too often with a rambling beginning, over-explanatory narration and stretches that feel meandering and muddled. Again the forest beast is poorly done, only Freya is developed well, there are continuity errors meaning that the film just doesn't fit within the storytelling and time-line of 'Snow White and the Huntsman' (while it was a good idea not having Stewart's dead-weight presence in the film, the absence of Snow White- mentioned only in passing fleetingly- does leave a gaping hole in the plot) and Sam Claflin is both underused and out of place.

All in all, uneven film with things that are both good and bad. 5.5-6/10 Bethany Cox
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a perfectly adequate movie that is well-made and forgettable
Quinoa198423 April 2016
The Huntsman: Winter's War is not too unlike the first movie in one key way: it doesn't really stick too long in the consciousness once it's finished. It's not that there is a lack of quality in the craft in this (sigh) franchise - the first Snow White from 2012 got Oscar nominations for the costume design and visual effects departments, and it's easy to see why: the work put into the mirror on its own, this gold thing that can unfold in liquid on the floor is in the same ball-park as the T-1000 from decades past, and there is attention paid to all of the aesthetics in these 'kingdoms'. But with the stories, especially in the case of Winter's War, there is the sense of sensing a dearth of original plots. It's not even really a full plot in this film but plot points: this happens and then this happens and then and then and so on, and it cribs from Frozen so much that it's hard to ignore.

It's not that everything from the Disney movie is here, but when you start to describe what this story is about - two sisters in royalty are split apart when one of them (Emily Blunt this time as the sister to Charlize Theron's Wicked Queen) loses her son and takes over her kingdom... which is made of ice since she is the Ice Queen, and she decrees there can no longer be love because her love is lost, so then when two people (Hemsworth, returning as the Huntsman, and Jessica Chastain) fall in love, she splits them apart through trickery and then... it's actually not a prequel but a sequel which involves finding the mirror from the last movie (stolen/taken away, I forget which, it's explained in an exposition dump), and when a big reveal happens for Hemsworth that (spoiler! not really) Chastain is alive, they decide to go after the Ice Queen herself.

So there's a lot of plot here, a lot of twists and turns that do occur, but that main spine isn't too engaging. The Frozen element comes mostly with the Ice Queen and other characters having a love story happen where you don't expect it to (or, I should say, they *do* love each other, but things happen that makes one of them question again if it's possible and, oh, nevermind). What does still work is the humor; Nick Frost returns as one of the dwarfs from the last movie (the late Bob Hoskins is sorely missed though) along with Rob Brydon (remember him from The Trip movies), and both are spot-on with their comic timing, their deliveries, just finding the things in the scenes to naturally liven things up. Some of it's from the dialog, but a good deal of it feels improvised and when lady dwarfs get introduced into the film there's some fun stuff there as well.

All the actors are here to work, and I didn't see them exactly bored during this; Blunt does her best to give her Ice Queen Freya conviction and villainy (and, later on, some sense of true confusion and betrayal), but it's hard to go up against Theron when she owns this role once again of Ravenna. She's not on screen too long, and it feels just slightly contrived how she returns, but she makes her mark as a conniving, devilish presence with aplomb. Curiously Kirsten Stewart is out of this movie, though there are points where it feels like she *should* be in this, even as a cameo (there is one scene where technically Snow White is featured, but it's a double of course). This absence gets felt in a narrative that is all about the other characters, which is fine, except that the script lets them down with an adventure-cum-quest-cum-revenge story that feels watered down or half-baked. And there are even some moments, like with a creature that the characters come across to find the mirror, that isn't a terribly convincing special effect.

I almost feel like I need to write this so I don't forget most of the movie in a few days; it's not *bad* in the sense of it being too stupid or too illogical (though there are certainly points where you think 'yeah, that's a bad idea to, say, make that jump and hope to connect with that building even when you know and acknowledge that it's a bad idea'). If it's bad in any way it doesn't have really any artistic reason to exist aside from it being another check box for Universal studio's current Snow White universe property. To put it another way, when you have Liam Neeson narrating and delivering lines about fairy tales that felt hackneyed 60 years ago, you know there's an issue with something that should be made vs could. It's got entertaining bits but isn't worth rushing out to see unless you're a die-hard fantasy fan, and even with that there's the sense of derivation (if not from Frozen there's Game of Thrones as well).
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Wow what a great movie!.
LesbianToLesbians26 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Long before her death, the sorceress Ravenna learns that her younger sister Freya is not only engaged in an illicit affair with the Duke of Blackwood, but is carrying his child, who is destined to become fairest of them all. Sometime after Freya gives birth to a baby girl, she discovers that the Duke has murdered their child and, in a grief-fueled rage, kills him with her long-suppressed ice powers.

Freya abandons the kingdom and builds herself a solitary ice palace deep in the north, murdering anyone who opposes her while amassing an army of children and training them so their hearts will be forever hardened. Eric and Sara, two of her most exceptional warriors, fall in love and plan to elope, only to learn that Freya is aware of their secret. She confronts them and creates a massive ice wall to separate them before forcing Eric to watch as Sara is killed by her fellow huntsmen.

Seven years after Ravenna's death, King William of Tabor comes across Eric and informs him that the Magic Mirror was taken while en route to a place known as "Sanctuary". Eric reluctantly sets off with Nion and Gryff, two of Snow White's allies, to find the Mirror, unaware that Freya has been secretly observing their conversation through a mask that projects her consciousness in the form of a white owl.

While en route, the trio are attacked by a legion of Freya's huntsmen but are rescued by Sara, who is revealed to have been alive the entire time. She reveals her death was a vision conjured by Freya in order to trick him and that she was forced to watch as "Eric" ran away from the palace. Eric reveals that he never stopped loving Sara and the two agree to work together. Sometime later, the quartet is ensnared in a trap laid out by female dwarfs Bromwyn and Doreena, but convince them to help find the Mirror.

The group reaches the Sanctuary, and they defeat the goblins who possess the Magic Mirror only to be ambushed by Freya, who reveals Sara was using them the entire time. In the chaos that follows, Nion and Doreena are turned into ice statues and Sara reluctantly fires an arrow into Eric's chest. Freya departs with the Mirror, unaware that Sara intentionally shot the arrow at a medallion she gave Eric long before, and that he is still alive.

Meanwhile, Freya approaches the Mirror and recites a spell that causes a golden liquid to emerge and transform into Ravenna, who reveals she sent her spirit into the Mirror before Snow White took her life.

Meanwhile, Eric has infiltrated the icy kingdom with help of Gryff and Bromwyn, and he attempts to murder Freya, but is stopped by Ravenna. When Freya realizes that Sara hadn't actually killed Eric, she corners her and because of Ravenna's wishes, sentences them both to death. However, Eric is able to convince a few huntsmen to fight against Ravenna and Freya, claiming the love of brethren. After this, Ravenna kills many huntsmen, and Freya forms an ice wall between the huntsmen and the sisters. As the remaining huntsmen climb over the wall, the two sisters argue over the icy kingdom, during which Freya discovers that Ravenna cursed the Duke of Blackwood into murdering her child rather than risk someone being more beautiful than her. Freya is filled with anger at this and turns against her sister, joining forces with Eric and Sara. Freya is fatally wounded, but not before she freezes the magic mirror, as Eric throws his axe, breaking the mirror and destroying Ravenna's spirit. As she dies, Freya witnesses Eric and Sara together and states they were "lucky" before succumbing to her wounds.

As the kingdom's inhabitants and huntsmen celebrate their victory, a mysterious golden bird flies overhead, hinting that possibly Ravenna's spirit still lives.
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Based on a false premise, and still a decent film
ayoreinf5 June 2016
I want to say at the very beginning that at the base of this prequel/sequel is a false premise, or a logical fallacy. If one does remember the first movie, there's no way this one can be truly connected to the same story and characters. This is simply a story line that was stretched and contorted so another movie could be created with Charlize Theron as the evil queen and Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman, everything else didn't matter, the producers thought they could get some more money from the struggle between these two and the rest simply had to fit in. I knew that before I went to see this one, and I was practically ready to hate it. I didn't. And once again, the main reason is the acting. To be more precise, it's the three actresses pulling this unlikely story from start to end. Charlize Theron, once again menacing and chilling as the evil queen, with less fragility and less humanity. Which is, in my book the worst fault of this movie: if one does decide to further develop the characters of the first movie, the starting point should've been the origins of Ravena's hate for all men, and of human emotions. The creative team didn't go this way, this in fact made Ravena a two dimensional cartoon. Only Charlize Theron brilliance manages to make her somewhat relatable. Then there's Jessica Chastain as Sara with a performance filled with subtleties and nuances, managing to look like a fierce warrior and still make us feel she has a beating heart in her chest. But both Jessica Chastain and Charlize Theron pale in front of the real standout performance of this film, that's the one of Emily Blunt. The truth is, she does have the best written role in the film, and she carries it and in fact the entire movie all the way through. If only they could do the same for Charlize Theron, this could've been a real something to see. But even as is, the movie is surprisingly engaging and entertaining.
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The Ice Queen
claudio_carvalho17 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The evil Ravenna (Charlize Theron) finds that he sister Freya (Emily Blunt) is pregnant and in love with a noble. Freya gives birth to a baby girl but her beloved lover murders the baby and her rage unleashes ice powers and she kills him. Freya heads to North and builds a palace and an army that captures children from the villages to be raised as soldiers without love. Years later, their children Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) are grown-up and in love with each other. They plan to flee from the castle, but Freya finds and builds an ice wall between them. Eric sees Sara being murdered stabbed on her back by their friend Tull (Sope Dirisu) and he is dumped in a frozen river but he survives. Eric, a.k.a. The huntsman grieves the death of his beloved Sara on a daily basis. One day, Snow White is ill and her husband seeks out Eric to tell that the Magic Mirror was taken while carried to a place called Sanctuary. Eric teams-up with two dwarfs to find the mirror, but they are attacked by Freya army and saved by Sara that is alive. She tells that she saw Eric leaving her alone, and he concludes that Freya gave different visions for each of them. They retrieve the mirror but Sara betrays Eric and Queen Freya and her army takes the mirror and captures the group. Then she asks Sara to kill Eric and she follows the order. Whal will happen now that Freya has the magic mirror?

"The Huntsman: Winter's War" is an entertaining fantasy full of action with great cast and special effects. The plot is a prequel of "Snow White and the Huntsman" with Ravenna and the Huntsman, and introducing Freya and Sara. The film may not be recommended by professional critics but fortunately I am amateur. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Caçador e a Rainha do Gelo" ("The Huntsman and the Ice Queen")
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An enjoyable fantasy film with a positive message!
Netsco24 April 2016
In a time where it is very common to see a lot of negativity and cynicism in reality and depicted on screen, it is a relief to watch an optimistic fantasy film with beautiful sets, visual effects, and morals.

The film's cast is well put together as the actors are all very enjoyable to watch. None of the actors seemed to be miscast or stood out because of poor acting. The relationships between the characters are interesting, although some are slightly disappointing because they aren't as developed as they could be.

The dwarfs are definitely the lighter characters who I also found to be pretty adorable, and they get the most laughs out of the audience. The heroes of the story are both interesting and break the usual tradition of having the male character be the hardened one, and the female character be soft. It's incredible to see Chris Hemsworth's character be strong and heroic but also have such a kind and compassionate side to him. The types of heroes that stories have to offer nowadays are typically stoic and quite cold, so seeing that warm side in a modern male protagonist is amazing, and I hope that future stories will also present male protagonists who can show similar emotion and vulnerability. Jessica Chastain's character is truly a badass, and one that didn't seem like a forced badass to me, which I find to be a usual complaint.

Despite being villains, the two queen characters of the movie had touching, and surprising moments of humanity later on in the story. With that said, it is very fun to watch Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron play larger-than-life personalities and do cruel deeds throughout the film. You will find yourself rooting for them because they can be relatable, but also because they are wicked, you have to want them to fall. The only flaw I found with them is that they did not have enough screen time, but it doesn't take away from the film as the other characters keep you entertained as well.

The story is simple, easy to follow, and is enough to keep you engaged. The concept of love is what is being explored in the film, and the story could even be a cautionary tale about the effects of having a lack of love. In the end, the message of love conquering the evils of the world isn't anything ground-breaking, but I think that it is a simple and universal idea that is still effective and powerful even today if you open yourself up to it. Being a big fan of the first film, I went into this with low expectations but an open mind.

Thankfully, the film did not disappoint and I recommend seeing it on a large screen to appreciate the beauty of the effects and the costumes, but also be touched by the message that the film offers.
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An improvement on the original with an outstanding cast
ona020159 April 2016
The Huntsman: Winter's War may have its flaws, but is an undeniable improvement over the first which appears even more average due to the new life found in the second. Some dodgy and questionable accents aside, the main four and the supporting four all compliment each other and offer strong and more complex performances (especially those returning), if only the underrated Sam Clafflin got more of a look in. Beautiful scenery, landscapes and effects all help in building this fantasy world and the before-and-after structure helps with the flow of the story once you overcome the inceptive confusion. I went into this film expecting to come out disappointed but instead did so feeling pleasantly surprised at the increased quality and final product.

Summary: The Huntsman: Winter's War, whilst with its flaws, is an undeniable improvement over the first instalment, with rich scenery and landscapes bolstered further by solid performances all round.

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Like watching milk mold
artmania901 February 2017
It's astounding how bad "Huntsman: Winter's War" is. From the preposterous title (it would appear that the story occurs in springtime, and that the one battle in the film is a tiny 10-person battle in a throne room) to the absolute lack of reason, sense, or skill, this coldly-received sequel to an already flawed film (Snow White & the Huntsman) is like finding a diamond in the rough in terms of bad movies. In a way it's almost good how bad it is. Almost.

The movie is narrated by Liam Neeson with empty phrases like "lands to the North" and "the Good Queen built a fortress around her heart." We meet the Evil Queen from the first movie (the absurdly over-the-top Charlize Theron who is the only fun role in the film) and her sister, Elsa -- I mean Freya, a woman who's heart was broken and uses her ice powers to turn her hair white, adopt an icy wardrobe, and reign in an ice castle on top of a mountain. Her ultimate character arc is the discovery that love can ultimately be a good thing. She didn't even have to sing "Let It Go" to figure it out.

Simultaneously we have a remake of "Braveheart" occurring, as we meet the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth reprising his titular role) and his love affair with fellow huntswoman, Sara (with an off-again on-again Scottish accent). Declaring their love for one another in a forbidden encounter, the Huntsman all but states that he "wants to raise crops and God- willing a family" with his new lover. A stroke of misfortune leads him to believe Sara is brutally murdered, and thus the war is launched. I mean the battle that takes place in the last 3 minutes of the movie.

In reality, the plot seems to be about the group of heroes (the Huntsman, some of the dwarfs from the first film (whoever wanted to come back, I guess), and some other female dwarfs) on the hunt for the Magic Mirror, hoping to find it before Evil Queen Freya reclaims it for herself. Like the ruby slippers, it's said to have dangerous powers, but I am sure as hell unaware of what those powers could be (aside from being able to judge the hotness level of women like a caddy bitch). Why this is so important is never explained, nor are any of the plot details seemingly relevant at any one point. The story is vapid, lifeless, thrown together. As I was watching this film, things kept happening, but overall nothing was occurring. I began to doubt the reasoning for this movie's existence other than an attempts for a cash grab (the original made over $400 million in sales... This one barely made $160 million against a budget of $115 million. Ouch).

If you need an example of what is wrong with the Hollywood system right now, then "Huntsman" seems to be a textbook example. From the overly-choreographed fight scenes, Lord of the Ring's-inspired mythology (which seems to be the standard for fantasy films nowadays), and the rehashing of characters both living and dead with no regard to story (how many times can Charlize Theron come back to life without absolutely flushing brain power down the toilet?), the film churns along from one predictable beat to the next, and by the time it ends it's hard to remember that there are actually decent movies made anymore. To watch "Huntsman: Winter's War" is to lobotomize a part of your brain. Movies can be art, and they can be moving, and they can be thrilling. This movie is the cinematic equivalent of expired milk.
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More than just visual effects!
kimmyypritch4 April 2016
I previewed this movie tonight having no recollection of ever seeing the first one (although I realize now I have and simply forgot about it due to its mediocrity). This movie was awesome! As in the first film, the visual effects are stunning and even though I am easily displeased with shoddy CGI, only in one brief scene did I think it was done somewhat poorly. (For reference, I did not see it in IMAX or 3D). While some of the plot points were transparent, the narrative as a whole was quite engaging and was acted well enough for me to really feel for the characters. Another reviewer mentioned the humor of the film in a somewhat negative way but I (and by the sound of it, the rest of the theater) thought it was done perfectly-- it wasn't forced onto characters or into situations it didn't belong in but instead lent itself to filling out the characters and even making some subtle points about relationships, friendships, and life as a whole.
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light-hearted fun that actually works a lot better than its predecessor!
AD-Phoenix18 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I saw The Huntsman: Winter's War today and I felt inclined to write down some thoughts on the film. We live in the age of the internet, and consequently, we are subjected to absolutely everyone's opinion (I am aware of the irony here). This over-exposure can actually be quite exhausting at times, as the negatives are always the first to be seen. The Huntsman has 22% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing this, and I couldn't feel more indifferent to it. This is one of those instances where I feel a 'fuck the critics' sort of attitude. While I am fully aware that this is no Return of the King, I know it's not trying be - These films are innocent fun at best. These are my thoughts:

The plot is marketed almost completely different to how it turns out, much to my frustration. As is the norm nowadays, the trailer contains way too much of the film. The most infuriating of all – the actual twist of the film, however predictable, is reduced to a throwaway aspect of the marketing! Not to mention the entire third act features heavily in promotional material – including some pivotal shots. To clarify how it differs to the actual film – the trailer markets it as somewhat of a sibling rivalry, whereas in reality Ravenna (Charlize Theron) mostly doesn't appear until the third act. The film focuses on the Magic Mirror and delivering it to Sanctuary. While the plot doesn't do too many unique things, and is crammed with genre conventions, they are sometimes delivered above expectations. For example, too much screen time isn't wasted repairing the relationship between The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and his wife (Jessica Chastain) beyond what is needed. A huge plot hole I thought the film would have briefly explained was the fact that Freya (Emily Blunt) was never spoken about or shown before now. Even during the flashback scenes in the first film, with young Ravenna and her brother, it is never explained why Freya was never seen – or even where their brother is during the events surrounding the death of Freya's baby. It would have been great to see, but I can't say it's a shocking omission. Something that greatly added to my enjoyment is the whole tone of the film, which is definitely a lot less sombre this time around.

Moving onto performances, Hemsworth and Theron deliver the expected solid acting we've come to expect (Hemsworth's accent has surely improved since the last film), and newcomer Blunt is cast perfectly in her role. Chastain, while a terrific actress and a convincing character, had me yo-yoing on my opinion of her accent. For those unaware, Chastain's character Sara plays the kickass wife of Hemsworth's Eric, and the plot calls for her to have a Scottish accent, naturally; I guess it kinda makes sense considering the characters are from the same place, but I don't want to get too hung up on accents when they range from all over the UK. Anyway, Sara sounds Irish in some lines and Australian in others, but it's not film-ruining – I see it as a similar situation to Hemsworth's accent in the first film; maybe she'll perfect it if another sequel gets greenlit.

Filling in the supporting roles and cameos, Nick Frost returns with Dwarf company in the form of Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith and Alexandra Roach – and kudos to them! Whereas I couldn't stand the dwarfs in Snow White and the Huntsman, here they are one of the film's highlights. They provide the majority of the comic relief, and I laughed way more than I should probably admit; Brydon in particular, although I may just be biased because I'm Welsh. That being said, no character really feels out of place. I certainly wasn't expecting to see Colin Morgan as Freya's lover, Sam Claflin return as Snow White's husband, William and… is that Liam Neeson as the narrator?!

Speaking of appearances (or disappearances in this case), Kristen Stewart's Snow White is nowhere to be seen, save for a shot of archive footage from movie #1 and a brief scene with a stand-in. This is to be expected since the scandal that surrounded her affair, but it still would have been cool to see a cameo. Ballsy even. Fingers crossed she returns for a sequel – Ravenna did vow vengeance after all, and if the last shot is anything to go by… she'll be back. I actually liked Snow White and Stewart is by no means the catastrophe of an actor that people make out; just look at her more recent performances like that in Still Alice – but that argument is for another time.

These films have always been the sort to favour style over substance, and that is evident here – but this time the ratio allows for that bit more substance. The sets are pretty good and the visual effects definitely hold up. The costumes and make-up are extremely beautiful to look at in regards to the elegant queens. James Newton Howard returns to score the film, and with him a few minor themes to solidify the film in its universe. While not a ground-breaking film in any sense, I had a lot of fun watching it. It feels like an appropriate sequel and actually works a lot better than its predecessor. Most importantly – its light-hearted fun and I'm likely to be one of the few to hope that a sequel is on the cards.
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Wasn't sure I would enjoy this but pleasantly surprised!
Imy125 April 2016
I loved this film. I had to go to accompany my child and didn't think I would enjoy it but I was very pleasantly surprised. I actually hadn't seen the first film, so was able to go in without preconceived ideas, which probably helped. I was wary as the cinema was empty so I assumed it had had bad reviews, which was keeping people away. I actually really enjoyed the whole thing from start to finish. A good story, not too long or short, great visual impact and what is not to like about Chris Hemsworth - (never heard of him until now). Robust acting from Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron, held this film together nicely. I also loved the dwarf characters, who added some welcome humour to the film too. I would recommend this film if you want to spend a couple of enjoyable hours at the movies with your child.
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Extremely enjoyable. Will definitely be watching it again.
imposierosie8 April 2016
My excitement for this film could not have been greater. It has some of my favourite actors in namely Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain. I am pleased to say that this film did not disappoint. The film is prequel and sequel combined which is extremely clever and works really well. The writers have done a great job of making this story fit with the events that took place in Snow White and The Huntsman.

This film is much better than it's predecessor. The plot is much more interesting and it doesn't drag in the middle like the Snow White ones does. (As a side note, there are references to the Snow White film so I'd recommend watching it before going to see this one). This film has some really funny moments as well as plenty of action sequences. All the actors give good performances. An extremely enjoyable film which I look forward to watching again.
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Better than the Trailer shows and better than the First one!
laufeyson-6447512 April 2016
I think the trailers don't do justice to the movie in regard to showing the real quality of it. The movie has amazing visual effects and wonderful original characters. People thought the movie is actually more about WOMEN, but I can assure you that the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) has a quite important and major role, but I think his scenes were overshadowed in the trailers.

The three female leads are AMAZING. Apart from looking gorgeous, all three are incredibly talented and badass. I wished Raveena (Charlize Theron) had much more scenes, but she owns every scene she is in. One of my favourite actresses is Jessica Chastain and everyone who likes her will be much pleased, since she has many great and powerful scenes. She is a real badass. Her profession does not consist of constantly looking beautiful or feminine, as she presents here a very strong, masculine, yet emotional warrioress. I love how she always plays dominant and characterful figures who are also inspiring and compelling. You can easily follow how she changes her facial expressions, one second she is very tough, then suddenly she becomes very romantic and vulnerable. A terrific actress.

Everyone who likes the first one, will surely like this one, too, since it has lots of fairy tale traits (apart from Snow White). There are very very dark scenes, which I loved, but there are also humorous and light scenes where the balance is really well made.

I think you shouldn't hesitate and go enjoy this beautifully made movie with great performances. Everyone who loves fantasy and fairy tales should watch and recommend the movie to others.
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It is so bad
TheOneThatYouWanted5 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I guess I should review this snoozefest while am motivated to waste even more of my time on it. First off, I did not watch the first film so I can not compare the two films. After this one, I'm not planning on ever watching the first Huntsman movie. Anyway, the biggest problem I have with the film is the predictability. The movie was so predictable that I literally knew what the story narrator was going to say before he said it. And why they do you need someone narrating the first 20 minutes of a 2 hour movie anyway? I'll tell you why, because it sucks. Oh, and I need to talk about Jessica Chastain. Jessica Chastain's accent is AWFUL! She sounded like an American doing an exceptionally bad impression of a Scotsman. Isn't Jessica Chastain an award winning actress? I know she did this movie for a paycheck but at the very least she could have pretended like she was taking the role seriously. But yeah, I'm not over exaggerating. Her accent was so laughable and goofy that I had to laugh the one second her voice went low and her American accent came out. But this movie was a lost cause before Jessica Chastain even came on screen. The action isn't nearly enough and the movie isn't even worth watching for the action anyway! If this sounds like a partial review of the movie, that is because it is. I stopped watching after 20 minutes. Time is something you can not get back and I didn't want to waste another second on this film.
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Totally surprised about this film
bacall-413 April 2016
I have strong feelings about movies and how people approach them, in how it affects my own enjoyment and rating of a movie.

I went into this film expecting nothing really and that it would be a standard fantasy fare worth the usual six for a medium sized movie.

I had read various fan reviews and for the most part I prefer them to what the critics say because they tend to me far more honest and except for the trolls, whom it easy to spot and ignore these wasters and found that they were sending my expectations even further down the ratings scale.

Fortunately, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and had not seen the previous installment. I was entertained on nearly every level, and while there were some goofs and a couple of dead spots, I did have a good time and the 40 other Aussies in our local cinema at Penrith, all laughed a lot and there was a very positive vibe during and after the movie. And my wife and I really enjoyed it without thinking we had been to see a true movie classic or anything that would live on forever in our minds.

However, when I went to recent movies like The Avengers and Star Wars with all their great hype I did enjoy them, but for the most part was totally underwhelmed by the dialogue and the overall entertainment value of these films. They did their job, but I have seen so many other films, which were done better, made better and that I know I will love for years to come. Deadpool and Mad Max, were both far superior in most departments to these films, and much of Star Wars box office is due to the fact that it is shown to kids while the other two are not. I imagine this alone accounts for a big difference in their box office takings.

I know that in ten years from now, series like LOTR, The Hobbit, Mad Max and inter-related movies like Deadpool/Suicide Squad will still ring clear in my imagination while the most recent 4 Star Wars movies will have faded into oblivion.

I will say this though, Star Wars and The Avengers are still several classes above the execrable Divergent series which gets worse with every installment and lacks a truly cool and elegant or funny lead in Shailene Woodley (a reasonable actor, but so totally miscast and out of her depth in this series) a poor support cast, and very dull story lines and dialogue.

The Hunger Games is superior to the Divergent series, in all departments especially the actors and special effects, but the story etc are still tedious and the series (while entertaining) is highly over-rated particularly as the makers went into "bloated" and "OTT" mode for the closing chapters and destroyed what could have been a terrific series. If only the series had the writers from Deadpool or the kinetic energy of Mad Max (which has its downside, but like Deadpool) has something that these other movies totally lack and that is movie magic.

It is always such a shame to me that movie makers cannot step back enough from their films and look at what they are doing with a clearer vision, cannot be critical enough of their own scripts, or the greatest disease of all, falling foul of the studios/producers who do not understand what it is to make a great film, or cannot control their own agendas enough to allow the directors and their crews and cast to weave the magic that hey themselves so often lack.

If nothing else, The Huntsman had humour, drama, cool effects and stunts, a basic but pleasing story and enough going for it generally to allow some movie magic to shine through to the audience.

If you go to the movies once a week like we do, to be entertained by anything from a thriller, a romance, all action, supernatural, war or western or whatever, I want to leave feeling I have been entertained and that this movie has brought something cool to my life. Once in a while there will be the unforgettable story, but it seems to me so many people these days expect every movie to be a total blockbuster so spend much of their movie life being disappointed simply by demanding too much of others than to be simply entertained for 90-180 minutes. And then joyful, when they come across a true gem, like The Revenants, The Intouchables, or whatever other movie leaves an indelible mark on your heart and in your head...
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not good enough
pennyelenabooks28 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Somehow it felt like I've seen this movie before, and not because I've watched the first one. Well, the first movie was just a base, with some mentions of Snow White here and there and, of course, the evil Queen. However, other than that, the film makers seemed to have forgotten what happened in the first film. I mean, if I remember correctly, Eric had a wife who was killed by the Queen for her beauty, and, in the end, he fell in love with Snow white. Not to mention, the Queen's brother and other things that were simply "forgotten". Other than that, the movie was like a remake of the hobbit series. Sara gave the feel of an elf, the goblins and of course the bird spies were awfully familiar. Now, the Queen's story was okay, but the romance was a little too weak to sustain the whole film. So, 2 out of 10.
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Good Visual Effects and good customs!
lachovela15 April 2016
I had low expectations about this movie, specially because I did not like the first one very much, but I got a good surprise when I watched this one.

Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron did an excellent job in this film. Their acting was very good, as always. They are two evil sisters that want to conquer all, using black magic and a magical mirror.

You really enjoy the visual effects on this movie and the customs of the two evil queens are awesome.

In my opinion, Jessica Chastain in an improvement of a protagonist from Kristen Stewart. First, Chastain can act and second she has better fighting skills.

I think that the story is good, but predictable ( you still enjoy it, though) This is not an action/ superhero's film... If you are expecting a lot of fighting, this is not your movie. This film is not a suspense one either; but if you like fairy tales movies with special effects, good acting , then you will enjoy this movie.
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Not worth of movie ticket
tinovalkki10 May 2016
The Huntsman: Winter's war is much worse movie, than Snow White and Huntsman was. Even it is beautifully set the story is quite empty. With it's dryish slap stick humor in it is mostly repellent and lame. It's supposed to be prequel movie to Snow White and Huntsman story, but you can hardly find any reference mark to first movie. Charlize Theron as evil queen is great, but she has regrettable too less of the screen time in this movie. Shaking shooting in some action scenes makes it hard to follow, which is unlucky to story telling. And those 3D glasses wont even make it easier to follow. Even the movie is quite visually beautiful, some of the monsters looks stupidly animated. Maybe most of the movie budget has spent to hire famous actors. In many times set feels like theater like set and doesn't feel very realistic. You may say, that it is a fairy tale and it shouldn't be realistic. But with this budget it should. Movie has flopped quite badly at movie theatres (even I Was with my husband alone in this screening) and it is not a worth of a movie ticket. I believe you will find this movie from Netflix quite soon, so maybe it is better to wit to see from there. At least you can pause it as many times you want to visit refrigerator. Even 3D won't give to you extra reason to see it in movies.
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A solid fantasy adventure despite not bringing anything new to the genre.
gricey_sandgrounder4 April 2016
I thought Snow White And The Huntsman was serviceable at best with some nice visual effects and a good villain role by Charlize Theron. Naturally, I would probably not be interested in a sequel.

But as I am usually a sucker for fantasy and I was intrigued by the trailer and who was cast, I thought I would give it a chance.

I was going in with low expectations and felt pretty satisfied with what I saw. It is better and more enjoyable than its predecessor

The best things about it are definitely the costume designs and visual effects. You can tell hard work has been made with the costumes, especially for our main female characters. They are impressive to look at and definitely fit in with the magical kingdom that it is set in. Whilst admiring the costumes, the visuals around it fits in well and the general viewing experience is a highly positive one for the eyes.

Even the performances managed to boost my enjoyment. As I mentioned before, the casting choices for this film heavily influenced me in giving this a chance. Everyone involved I consider to be reliable choices that seem to make any potentially disappointing film worth watching. Chris Hemsworth continues to play the hero role well as The Huntsman. His fun and smiley presence makes it easy to root for him. I was really surprised to hear Jessica Chastain was a part of this and this seemed outside of her comfort zone. As a supportive role to Hemsworth, I thought she was perfectly fine on the whole, despite her questionable Scottish accent. Emily Blunt played the leading villain role well. I have been fond of Blunt's recent performances, especially in Edge Of Tomorrow. She was believable, threatening and even showed enough of a vulnerable side for us to also feel sympathy for her character. Charlize Theron is back as Ravenna, and is great as always. She constantly looks terrifying whenever she's on screen whilst also looking very attractive. There was also some solid minor roles by Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith, Sam Caflin and a nice surprise to see Colin Morgan on the big screen.

The only negative that was noticeable was the comedy used. It seemed out of place at first but managed to slowly fit in as the film went along.

Despite questioning the reasoning into a sequel being made, I was perfectly fine with the mash-up of the two fairy tales 'Snow White' and 'The Snow Queen' to give this sequel some logic as to why it is being made. Whilst giving this a lot of positives, it is mainly due to going into the film with low expectations. The best stuff is just not strong enough and the content does not bring anything new to the genre. It is lovely to look at, and the performances keep the film moving. If you look like the fantasy genre, then this will be a fine couple of hours.
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A disaster - what a waste of such a great cast
phd_travel3 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Even such a collection of stars - so appealing on their own can't save a movie which has a bad story that I actually was bored most of the movie. I love almost everything Jessica Chastain and Charlize Theron do. But there is no saving this terribly weak story.

The good points: 1. Emily Blunt looks pretty here - more so than usual. 2. Charlize is stunningly beautiful as well. The costumes of the 2 queens are grandly done. 3. Jessica Chastain is good at action.

The bad points: 1. Couldn't understand what Chris Hemsworth was saying. They should have abandoned the Shrek like Scottish accents 2. The dwarfs weren't funny 3. The story is absurd - looking for a silly mirror and killing her niece.

Terrible. Serves them right for dumping K Stew.
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As visually sumptuous as it is, this prequel-slash-sequel is no more than a half-baked mishmash of vastly superior fairy-tales/ fantasy adventuresis
moviexclusive14 April 2016
Neither Snow White nor Kristen Stewart from the earlier 'Snow White and the Huntsman' return for this follow-up, though it is anyone's guess whether their exclusion is due to the actress being too expensive for this decidedly lower-budget instalment or because of her relationship-ending fling with the first film's married director Rupert Sanders. In her character's place, it is perhaps only natural and inevitable that Chris Hemsworth's axe-wielding hero Eric would be elevated to lead status, in order to form the narrative glue between the events of that 2012 original and this latest – and if you're wondering about Charlize Theron's evil queen Ravenna, let's just say that she plays at best a supporting role that is much less significant than the promotional materials have made her out to be.

Rather than choose between a prequel and a sequel, French director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and his writers Evan Spiliotopoulos and Craig Mazin have decided to make their live-action fairytale a bit of both, resulting in a time jump that will leave those unfamiliar with the earlier film more than a little confused. With no small measure of help from narrator Liam Neeson, we are introduced to Ravenna's younger sister Freya (Emily Blunt), a romantic-at-heart who turns into a bitter icy-hearted villainess following the death of her child at the presumed hands of her lover cum daughter's father. It is perhaps no coincidence given 'Frozen's' box-office success that Freya develops icy-related powers in her post-traumatic process, transforming into the Ice Queen who goes about establishing her kingdom of ruthless killers by kidnapping kids and training them to be warriors she calls huntsmen.

Two of her best warriors happen to be Eric (played in his teenage years by Conrad Khan) and the flame-haired Sara (Niamh Walter; then Jessica Chastain), who defy Freya's commandment not to love by doing just that with each other. When she finds out that Eric and Sara have secretly gotten married and intend to leave her kingdom, Freya separates them with a wall of enchanted ice that leaves Eric thinking that Sara has been killed by a fellow huntsman and Sara thinking that Eric has left her there to die. The plot then fast- forwards seven years to after Snow White's defeat of Ravenna in part one, where Sam Claflin's handsome prince makes a brief return to implore Eric to track down and destroy Ravenna's magic golden mirror that has gone missing but continues to exert its evil influence over Snow White.

That mission is of course but excuse for Eric to be reunited with his thought-to-be-dead wife Sara and team up to end Freya's icy dominion once and for all – but not without vanquishing her 'cannot- seem-to-stay-dead' sister Ravenna at the same time. Since Eric and Sara are not quite people of good humour, their journey gets some welcome comic relief in the form of two male dwarfs Nion (Nick Frost) and Gryff (Rob Brydon) as well as their romantic interests of the opposite sex Mrs. Bromwyn (Sheridan Smith) and Doreena (Alexandra Roach). As distracting as their snappy salty banter may be, their presence is easily the best thing that the film has going for it, not only because of their easy chemistry but also because they get the scant memorable lines from an otherwise clunky and leaden script.

As sympathetic as we want to be to the writers for having to keep Snow White out of the picture, the seven-year leap around the events of the original does their film absolutely no favours. What transpired between Ravenna and Freya in those seven years, or Sara for that matter, is probably the most glaring logic gap, not to mention why Freya would suddenly decide upon her sister's death that she should acquire the magic mirror for herself. It also begs the question why Freya never sought to doubt Ravenna's hand in orchestrating the death of her daughter in the years since the former left to create her own fiefdom, and only decides to do so when the latter is somehow magically resurrected by the mirror.

Nicolas-Troyan's experience in the visual effects department (as opposed to the storytelling department) also means that his priority is to deliver spectacle, and true enough, the wintry vistas as well as the CGI-ed sorcery looks sumptuous. There are Colleen Atwood's lavish costumes to feast on as well, the veteran designer on many a Tim Burton film going all out to make Freya look coolly stunning and Ravenna wickedly ravishing. Yet all that style cannot quite distract from a distinct lack of substance, which borrows liberally from a certain Disney animated hit with that song 'Let It Go', 'The Lord of the Rings', 'Game of Thrones' and even 'The Hunger Games'. Oh yes, you'll be hard-pressed to find a shred of originality in this half- baked mish-mash of a product which makes no apologies for taking ingredients from other vastly superior fairy-tales and/ or fantasy adventures.

If that sounds like we're bashing up 'The Huntsman: Winter's War', that's largely because it is quite embarrassingly devoid of imagination, inspiration or excitement – and no minotaur-like monster or elfin wood nymph changes that. That's not to say that it isn't watchable, especially if all you're looking for is some diverting fairy-tale entertainment; but when you have actors off the quality of Chastain, Theron and Blunt, you'd probably expect much, much more than a throwaway popcorn flick that squanders them in such shallow caricatured roles. Hemsworth might be one of the hottest male actors today, but even his fit, rugged presence cannot quite save you from this cold.
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