This weekend, "Snow White and the Huntsman" opens nationwide. If you're not into fairytales or Kristen Stewart, odds are you don't care about this film. However, coming from someone who kinda sorta despises the "Twilight" franchise, I was pleasantly surprised. That's because -- and I likely risk being mocked by my friends for saying this -- I enjoyed "Snow White and the Huntsman." There. I said it.
Ahead, let's take a look at the Pros and Cons of "SWATH." (MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW)
PRO: Charlize Theron
This shouldn't come as a surprise, but the Oscar winner pulled off an unbelievably entertaining -- and somewhat terrifying -- portrayal of Ravenna. Her stare, her laugh, her scream -- they all fit perfectly with the M.O. of the deliciously diabolic Evil Queen, a woman who's dead-set on murdering poor Snow White. (Also, there's a scene where Ravenna eats a bird's guts.)
CON: Sam Spruell
He tried and failed to pull off an equally terrifying Finn, Queen Ravenna's brother. This isn't so much Spruell's fault as it is Theron's, who acts circles around the amateur British actor.
PRO: Sam Spruell's haircut
Remember Anton Sigur, the serial killer played by Javier Bardem in "No Country For Old Men"? Remember his haircut? Finn's 'do isn't quite as ridiculous as Sigur's, but it's close -- and it's awesome.
PRO: The visuals
Moss-covered snakes and turtles, bright blue butterflies, soldiers made out of glass -- the visuals in the film were haunting, imaginative and beautiful.
CON: The cinematography
Can we all make an agreement to stop shooting fight scenes with quick, nauseating cuts which make it impossible to tell what's going on?
PRO: The Dwarves!
Yes! The Dwarves! I mean, just look at this cast: Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Brian Gleeson, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost and Johnny Harris. It was like a murderer's row of short fairy-tale characters! Also, bravo to the special effects team, who managed to make the characters look like actual dwarves -- not an easy feat with someone as intimidating as Ian McShane.
CON: Not enough Dwarves
They were probably the best part of this film, yet they were completely absent for the majority of it, and mostly ignored in the trailers and ads.
PRO: Kristen Stewart
Outside Twi-hard fan circles, K-Stew's reputation as an actress is rather poor (considering the dialogue uttered in the "Twilight" franchise, I can't say I blame them). Yet despite only having, like, 30 lines (more on that later), Stewart pulls off an entertaining portrayal of Snow White, balancing badass fight scenes with the more delicate characteristics of the classic character.
CON: Lack of K-Stew
Sure, she was in a majority of the movie, but director Rupert Sanders and the screenwriting team seemed intent on hiding her from the audience. I am willing to bet that the Evil Queen's brother had more lines than she did, which is sort of ridiculous considering the film has Snow White in the title.
CON: The length
This movie is way way way, too long. The filmmakers could have easily lost 30 minutes from the somewhat boring first half of the movie.
PRO: "Game of Thrones" parallels
Perhaps it's because I am somewhat obsessed with George R.R. Martin's fantasy series -- and its HBO counterpart -- but I kept picturing Ravenna as Cersei Lannister, Finn as a mix between Jaimie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth, and Snow White as both Sansa and Arya Stark. (Yes, I know, I need to get out more.)
PRO: The ending
Any "fairy-tale" adaptation that ends with a bloody fight scene gets my vote immediately.