"Snow White and the Huntsman" is not your average fairy tale. The princess is quite capable of saving herself, the prince is vying for Snow's love with the handsome Huntsman, and the Dark Forest is ever more present than any furry woodland creatures.
Director Rupert Sanders created a darker version of the classic story where Snow White gears up for battle against Queen Ravenna, and the evil witch actually has an emotional reason for why she's killing females to remain young. Kristen Stewart leads the film as the title character, with stunning performances by Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth and Sam Claflin.
Stewart will be one of the many stars in attendance at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards this Sunday, June 3, where she'll act as a presenter and compete for the Golden Popcorn in the Best Kiss and Movie of the Year categories. Until then, audiences can catch her in action beginning Friday when "Snow White" hits theaters. Read on to find out why critics are calling this the fairest adaptation of all.
"Astonishingly beautiful and breathtaking in its brutal imagery, 'Snow White & the Huntsman' is thrilling and frightening in equal measure, yet as bereft of satisfying substance as a poisoned apple. Rupert Sanders' revisionist take on the classic Brothers Grimm fable, the first feature from the respected British commercial director, upends expectations of traditional gender roles while simultaneously embracing what a fairy tale should be. It's dark and dangerous, vicious and violent. Yes, there are dwarves and adorable, furry woodland creatures but more often, death is a constant threat." — Christy Lemire, Associated Press
The Special Effects
"Director Rupert Sanders, with his first feature, has come up with some jaw droppingly beautiful shots, almost tactile in their richness, and uses special effects to enhance that look, rather than just showing off." — Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"Kristen Stewart is not an obvious choice for Snow White, given her habitual expression of discomfort while striking conventional feminine poses — both in movies and on red carpets. That's why, of course, she's right for this Snow White, imprisoned in a tower during puberty and with no regard for her looks: She has integrity, inner beauty. 'How do I inspire? How do I lead men?' she asks the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), a grief-stricken drunk who teaches Snow White how to stab her opponents by using the weight of their onrushing bodies against them. She's not a barrel of laughs, but then, unlike recent fractured fairy tales such as 'Tangled' and the campy 'Mirror Mirror,' 'Snow White and the Huntsman' doesn't have a single (intentional) laugh." — David Edelstein, New York Magazine
"For a while the movie chugs along serviceably. ... But then things pick up. How? Three words, as Hemsworth's character puts it: 'Oh no. Dwarves.' Yes, this version does have dwarves, and they're played by non-dwarf actors who've been reduced by special effects, and at least one of those actors hasn't been in a really big picture in some time. And they are feisty and different and delightful, and their ruminations on their loyalties to the kingdom and the young woman they acknowledge as their rightful queen help shift the picture into high gear, as does a shift from a dark forest to an enchanted wood that packs some of the movie's most magical visuals." — Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies
The Final Word
"Ravenna's delivery of the poisoned apple to Snow White is brilliantly done, perhaps the movie's best revisionist moment, but after that the momentum declines sharply. Snow White 'dies' and is revived — more mysteriously, and with less emotional impact, than in the Disney film — and then she must lead her rebel troops into battle, delivering a knockoff version of the St. Crispin's Day inspirational speech from 'Henry V' ... I'm inclined to conclude that 'Snow White and the Huntsman' is a vigorous simulacrum of classic fantasy, rather than the real thing. But keep your expectations reasonable, and that's enough to make it one of the summer's unexpected delights." — Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.