Tuesday, 12 April 2016

REVIEW - THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER'S WAR (CEDRIC NICOLAS-TROYAN)


We Western audiences are accustomed to this by now, the sequel that never should have been. We receive them, with varying levels of willingness, countless times every year, apathetic to their mediocrity, quietly cursing them as they desecrate our memories of their predecessors. There's little to desecrate in 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman, though 2016's The Huntsman: Winter's War somehow achieves such a feat - of all the sequels that never should have been, this awful attempt after an already-bad film, itself an ill-advised update of a classic tale, and this an insulting extension from that, in a franchise with no promise, and needlessly jettisoning the first film's star, this sequel takes the cake. In essence alone, Winter's War is slut-shaming manifest as movie, sinking so low as to actually feature a Kristen Stewart body double for one pithy shot, before inexplicably ignoring her character for the remainder of the film, a film which yet includes every other leading cast member from the previous film. An Aussie, a Brit, a South African and an American embark on a tour of the accents of Britain, with wildly erratic results: kudos to Chris Hemsworth for his solid turn at Scottish, though poor Jessica Chastain's heinous effort may just have painted his in a flattering light. Who among the cast could justifiably shoulder the blame for such atrocious dialogue, though? Every last line seems to land with a horrible thud; if not every line, then at least almost. Amid sorry craftsmanship and a silly storyline, savour what few gems Winter's War has to offer: a subtly scene-stealing performance by Emily Blunt, and a genuine good laugh to be had from the film's little people. Alas, even in this regard, the film fails however, with just as many offensive statements as funny ones, and a continued refusal to actually cast little people in these roles. A curse on this film!