As of late I am beginning to notice a pattern about films lately I have been watching. If I have high expectations, or just expectations and the film doesn't meet them it's rather dreadful oftentimes. However, if I have no expectations or low expectations and the film is essentially just "okay" then I tend to like it more often than not. The Huntsman: Winter's War fits into that latter category. I remember watching the trailer and thinking to myself that the movie was going to be terrible, despite having a lot of good material to work with. Now granted there are some flaws with the film, but overall I rather enjoyed it. The biggest saving grace of the film is that Kristen Stewart is nowhere to be found in it, so right away the film began on the right track. The casting of this film was epic though, and is probably was kept it from falling into total disaster. Of course we have Thor...I mean Chris Hemsworth playing the Huntsman Eric, and he actually brought some interesting depth and lightness to the character that didn't really exist in Snow White and The Huntsman, and even his character's behavior in that previous film was explained a little in this sequel of sorts. He did a good job with his character, but it wasn't anything extraordinarily impressive. Jessica Chastain was the Hunstswoman Sara the love interest of Eric, and the two of them had relatively good chemistry, and Ms. Chastain did much better with her character than Mr. Hemsworth did with his, although more depth of her character would have been better. Nick Frost and Rob Brydon as the dwarf characters Nion and Gryff provided the "comic" relief, although I figured they often came off as obnoxious and unnecessary, but it wasn't a huge distraction. The two female dwarfs Doreena and Mrs. Bromwyn played by Sheridan Smith and Alexandra Roach were a foil to the two male dwarfs and were alright, but rather unnecessary for the story or plot really. There were times though that the four of them together were rather humorous, but rather forgettable. I saved the best for last though. Charlize Theron as Ravenna is as perfect as it gets; lethality and beauty and never looked so good. Emily Blunt as Ravenna's sister Queen Freya was genius; cold and distant, powerful yet empathetic with a touch of monstrous evil. The film should have been predominantly about these two and it would have been a smash hit success; both had fascinating back stories, and what a dynamic it would have been with both fighting each other for dominance or something like that. Oh well, maybe next time. Liam Neeson made an excellent narrator, Colin Morgan (played Merlin) briefly appeared, Sam Claflin also briefly reprised his character of Prince William which might have been the worst acting in the entire film.
The director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan did a relatively good job with his first major Hollywood motion picture, and I don't think the fault laid entirely with him. The writing was largest source of any problem for the film. The story needed a major overhaul, and the screenplay needed a little more polishing so I can't really say much for the writers Evan Spiliotopoulos (who somehow wrote the screenplay for the upcoming live action Beauty and the Beast) and Craig Mazin. The premise of the story was fantastic, but the execution of that idea wasn't really fleshed out that well. James Newton Howard composed the music and I found it rather disappointing as fantasy tends to be his area of expertise and experience, but I can't say that I can recall a single note. It is also unfortunate that he tends to be a rather mediocre film composer; I don't think he's ever had a smash hit score that's really resonated on it's own apart from the film. The action in the film was pretty good, but it wasn't until the end that it became very cool and impressive, mainly because it revolved two of my favorite characters in the film. All in all the film was pretty good for not being panned as very good, and aside from Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman it is far better than it's predecessor. Hopefully they'll take my idea and run well with it for the next film in the series, if they decide to make another one.
The Huntsman: Winter's War The 2 Queens Clip
The Huntsman: Winter's War goblins clip
The Mummy teaser (not sure about this one as Tom Cruise is in it, but I might be pleasantly surprised yet again).