Movie Review - The Huntsman: Winter's War

The Huntsman: Winter's War is being billed as a prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, which isn't entirely accurate - the beginning of the film is a prequel and the middle and end take place after Snow White, although we never see Kristen Stewart as Snow White, aside from flashbacks for the most part, because she was excluded from this movie. However, I found Winter's War to be just as enjoyable as the first Huntsman movie, and it's worth seeing for the special effects and costumes alone.

At the beginning of this installment, we meet Freya (Emily Blunt), sister of Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the evil queen from the first movie. Freya becomes pregnant with her lover's baby, and the lover is already engaged to another woman; he asked her to meet him in the garden at night, so they can run away together, but instead he kills the baby. Needless to say, this enrages Freya, and her powers are released - she then turns into the Ice Queen, and starts her own kingdom, away from Ravenna. Freya kidnaps children from her villages and trains them to be her Huntsmen - among these children are Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain), who later fall in love - something that Queen Freya forbids in her kingdom.

To say more about the plot would spoil the film, so I will just leave it at that. The majority of the movie is Hemsworth and a band of dwarves trying to find the mirror (yes, THAT mirror - of "Mirror, Mirror on the wall ..." fame) so that Freya can't have it, because it would give her even more power than she already has. Emily Blunt was very good here as Queen Freya, who used to have a good heart but no longer does; that part of her was crushed when her lover murdered their child. I would have liked this film to have more of Theron, too, who is always fabulous as the Evil Queen, but unfortunately she's only present at the beginning and end of the movie. Jessica Chastain was a good addition to the cast this time, also, and Nick Frost plays Nion, one of the dwarves, too.

Yes, see this movie. The costumes are gorgeous and were easily one of my favorite parts of the film, as well as the scenery and the special effects. There's a lot of action throughout the film also, so it's hard to be bored, and the way they set up the time period of the movie was interesting, since part of it takes place pre-Snow White and the other part is during her reign as the new queen. The end of the film leaves it open for a sequel, as well, and I wouldn't mind seeing the Huntsman and crew come back to theaters again sometime soon.

The Huntsman: Winter's War
is in theaters today, April 22nd, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 114 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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