Snow White and the Huntsman is a fine example of a movie studio taking an interesting idea and making a terrible movie out of it.
It takes the traditional Snow White story and alters it, this time having the Huntsman, who was sent into the Dark Forest to hunt Snow White, become her protector. This is the framework for an interesting movie, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. As always characters do things that make no sense, change their motivations, and generally behave in a ridiculous manner.
Casting Kristen Stewart in any movie during the puzzling Twilight phenomenon is a sure money-making idea. But outside the role of teen angst projection target Bella Swan, KS’s wooden acting and utter lack of emoting becomes a hindrance .The only emotion her face seems to be able to create is mild surprise, regardless of whether or not the scene requires it. Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth do the best they can with terrible dialogue, but they are dragged down by the story. Theron has good moments, but her character is not a vain queen, but a totally crazy woman. The role of Ravenna seems well below Charlize Theron’s talent.
The movie’s setting is dubious. It tries to make things seem epic but – as with many movies that lack the CGI effects of the The Lord of the Rings or the raw man-power of Braveheart, the action in the film seems only to be affecting a handful of characters. Fairy tales are not supposed to be realistic and are supposed to impart some moral lesson. This movie does neither, unless you count the stance it takes against unhealthy obsession with youth and beauty. Perhaps the strangest thing in the movie is the inclusion of pieces of Catholicism, making the setting even more confusing.
If you follow this link, it will take you to a page with a lot of clips for this movie. If I embedded them, they’d all load ads at once and that’s just untenable.
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19 | Chapter 20 | Chapter 21 | Comments
Chapter 1: 00:01 – 05:37
After the opening credits, a voice-over by Chris Hemsworth tells the story of a queen who saw a red rose blooming in the dead of winter. She pricked her finger on the rose’s thorn and three drops of blood fell onto the snow. This made the queen want a daughter with pale skin, red lips, dark hair and the strength of the rose. The queen soon had such a child, known as Snow White, who was loved by the land for her beauty and defiant spirit.
Snow White, around 8-10 years old, finds an injured bird. She takes it to her mother, who extols Snow White’s inner and outer beauty. Snow White also plays in a tree with her friend William. The next winter, the queen dies and the kingisd inconsolable.
“Taking advantage of the king’s grief a dark army appears and lures the king into battle.”
The king and his army ride out to confront the dark army. They utterly destroy the army whose soldiers shatter when struck. The king’s soldiers find a beautiful woman imprisoned in a wagon. The king greets her, and she tells him that her name is Ravenna.
The entire beginning part can be excised from the movie, but I’m going to make fun of it regardless.
Do we need to see the queen walking alone in regal gown out in the snow? Why doesn’t she have a guard, or some sort of reasonable coat? She sees the rose growing in the snow, which is amazing as that plant would never bloom in the cold. There are no insects or birds around to spread its pollen so what would be the evolutionary point? Also, if the queen had been wearing proper cold weather clothing she would have had gloves on and not punctured her finger. She certainly wouldn’t have cut her finger so deeply that actual drops of blood came out, and then suddenly stopped, in a miracle of platelet clotting.
Either way, the encounter with the rose is somehow the impetus for her to decide to have children. I guess the king and queen didn’t want any heirs before then. “Look at this beautiful rose. You know what? We should have kids.” I like that the voice-over says that Snow White was born “shortly thereafter”. I’m going to assume it was at a minimum nine months or so. That’s not that short a span of time.
The movie then starts the theme that Snow White has inner strength, while reinforcing the idea that a woman’s worth stems from her physical beauty. Snow White is a young girl and she is loved by the kingdom for two things – her defiant nature, and her beauty. First, it’s a little creepy for an entire kingdom to love a little girl for her beauty. Second, how does she display her defiant nature? She’s the princess and heir to the throne. To whom is she defiant? There only two people above her and those are her parents. Is the kingdom happy that Snow White is a willful child who defies the king and queen? I guess she isn’t seen as spoiled because she’s so pretty. And would it have killed Universal Studios to find an actress with actual black hair, instead of the nice brown haired actress?
Alright, the king is saddened by the death of his wife. That makes sense. But how does an army showing up on his borders take advantage of this? How much could the defense of the kingdom depend on the king’s mood? Doesn’t he have any military leaders or advisors who could step in and handle some of the planning? And how does an army sneak up on a kingdom? You would think this kingdom has neighbors, with whom it would have relationships, either positive or negative. If an army just appeared, you think someone would ask these allies/enemies “Hey, did a mysterious dark army come through your lands recently?” Doesn’t this kingdom have scouts or border protection? What about farmers or hunters who live and work in the outlying area?
Then the battle commences and for the first twenty seconds the dark army is putting up a fight, sort of. They unhorse a few members of the king’s cavalry, although they just stand in formation while the king’s men ride right into them. This is a cavalry, by the way, with no lances that doesn’t even charge in unison. However, once the King’s soldiers realize that they are soldiers and use their weapons, the dark army’s soldiers shatter whenever struck by anything. Swords, shields, horses, or whatever hits an enemy “soldier” breaks it into little black cubes. Why cubes? Beats me. Maybe they’re a Lego army.
After defeating the Lego army, the king’s men wander around probably wondering what who or what these things were and from whence they came. However, rather than ask important questions like “what the fuck just happened?” they are amazed that there’s a beautiful woman chained to a wagon. Do they take her out and ask her important question about the army, what she saw, who she is where she’s from etc.? Nope. Instead…
Chapter 2: 05:38 –09:18
The king, enchanted by her beauty, marries Ravenna the next day. Snow White tells Ravenna she is beautiful and Ravenna thanks her saying it is kind coming from the one the kingdom things is truly beautiful. Ravenna says the wedding must be hard on Snow White and says she knows how it feels, having lost her mother. Ravenna seems nervous at the wedding, looking at the invitees and at Snow White.
The king takes Ravenna into his bed. She tells him she was ruined by a king like him once. She says she replaced the old queen who had grown old and she says she herself would have been replaced had she grown old. She says men ruin and use women then throw them away when they are old and no longer beautiful. She says when a woman is young and beautiful always, the world is hers. The king has trouble breathing, having been poisoned. She takes a knife out, stabs the king in the chest and says she will take his life and then his throne.
Ravenna walks out to the castle walls and opens the gate. Armed men run in and she greets a blonde man who she calls brother. The voice-over says Ravenna had tricked her way into the kingdom with a false army then brought in a real one.
So the king is so in love with Ravenna, because she’s pretty, that he doesn’t bother to ask questions like “Who are you? Where are you from? How did you get here? Did you hear anything from your captors? Do you know who they are? Are there more of them?” Instead, he just forgets his dead queen and gets married the next day. THE NEXT DAY?!! He has a royal wedding on one day’s notice? How does he invite all of the important lords and ladies of the court? What about other kingdoms who would expect invitations to such an event? Does he care at all for politics? How has he remained king? Also, does he have no advisers to tell him any of this? And, are those Catholic bishops in attendance?
Ravenna kills the king because she thinks that all men just use women when they are beautiful and no longer want them when they are old. This is true, to some extent but women generally don’t find old men attractive either. What she should be taking issue with is the patriarchal society in which she finds herself. It’s good to be king and one of the benefits is having access to beautiful young women. Does she expect men to no longer be attracted to young women? I assume that as queen she will enact sweeping social changes, preventing the majority of wealth, power, and influence from being concentrated in the hands of men. And if she didn’t agree with that previous king jettisoning his queen for a younger Ravenna, then why did she agree to marry him? She’s perpetuating the cycle against which she is raging!
Also, the king she’s killing has shown no sign of being that kind of man. He legitimately grieved for his wife, not taking another until being bewitched by Ravenna. She doesn’t even give him a chance to be a good husband. She just kills him.
Ravenna stabs the king, who apparently has no guards to notice he’s dead when she walks out of his room, and opens the front gate of the keep to let in the other army. This is an army that was waiting RIGHT AT THE GATE. Are there no sentries on the walls? How did the army get through the kingdom right up to the castle unnoticed? I guess because that army only has about a hundred people in it. How do they hope to hold the castle against the Kingdom’s standing army with only one hundred men? Ravenna’s men start shooting immediately upon entering the castle. That would imply there were targets, ostensibly castle defenders, on the walls. How did they not see the new Queen, wearing a white gown, walking unaccompanied up to the front gate and then opening it? Are there no guards, even on the gate? And who cuts her brother’s hair?
Chapter 3: 09:19 – 13:00
Snow White is sleeping in her bed and is awakened by the sound of people running outside her door. She walks to her father’s room and sees him lying on the bed, dead. Ravenna appears with two soldiers. Snow White runs into the courtyard where combat rages. She reaches for her friend, William, but a soldier grabs her. William and his father ride off. One of the good soldiers kills the enemy soldier and grabs Snow White. They ride after William and his father, but the good solider is shot with a bolt from a crossbow. He falls off his horse, taking Snow White to the ground with him. Snow White runs towards William, but the portcullis comes down and she is caught inside the castle. William wants to go back to get her but it is too late.
In a chamber in the castle, two soldiers bring in a large, circular mirror for Ravenna. Ravenna asks it who is the fairest of them all and metal oozes out of the mirror, taking a humanoid form. A deep male voice tells Ravenna that she is the fairest of them all. It also says another kingdom falls to her glory and asks if there is no end to her power and beauty.
A voice-over says that Ravenna’s reign was so poisonous that the land died and people turned against each other. Ravenna keeps Snow White trapped in a tower.
So, Ravenna doesn’t seem to care much about Snow White escaping as she lets her just run away. What’s the point of keeping her imprisoned? Why not just kill her? Where does this melee in the courtyard come from? Ravenna’s men storm in and the next time we see the courtyard, it’s full of the kings’ men and Ravenna’s. Where were the king’s men when Ravenna let her army into the castle? How did they manage to take the fight to the courtyard? If they did, then they must be winning because they are pushing the invaders back. In spite of the fact that his side is winning, for some reason the king’s right hand man takes his son and runs away. I presume he is going to rally the rest of the king’s men to come back and retake the castle, even though they are already winning.
The mirror scene is just too much. For starters, the mirror looks like the gong from the Gong Show. Ravenna is worried about what the mirror says, I guess, judging from her facial expressions and pacing back and forth. She’s also a complete bitch, yelling at her soldiers to leave seconds after they put the mirror down. She didn’t even give them time to pick up the mirror’s packaging. When she says the iconic “mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” rather than the mirror talking to her, the T-1000 comes out and forms some creepy bronze ghost.
I know it’s a tried and true quote (that was never actually said in the original), but asking who the fairest is could lead the mirror to tell her that she is just and equitable. But no, she’s not worried about that. She decides to use “fairest” in the sense that she is the most beautiful woman in the kingdom. This means one of three things.
1. Rather than ask the mirror something pertinent like “where are my enemies gathering?” or “What changes in the economy should I make?” or “How do I enforce a more equitable sharing of power between men and women?” she wants to know if her new crown makes her look fat. It’s a magic mirror, ask something useful.
2. The mirror is only good for judging beauty and she lugs it around just to know she is the most beautiful. Does she ask it periodically to check on newborns throughout the world, or just when she steals another throne because the mirror compares beauty only for a finite area? Does it compare beauty within a confined radius or just throughout the entirety of mankind?
3. The mirror is really just a sniveling, obsequious yes man that just tells her whatever she wants to hear. “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the best dancer of them all?”
One very important thing to take from this scene is that apparently Ravenna has toppled other thrones this way. That begs the questions of what happened to those lands. Is she trying to build an empire by assassination and coronation? Does she just leave these other kingdoms to their own devices after a while, or does she leave behind some less fair regent? How does no one know of the tall, fairest blonde who keeps being made queen and killing her husband? I mean it’s not like she’s just killing rich merchants. She’s killing kings for King’s sake!
Finally, how did she manage to maintain power? Surely the king has other supporters in his land. There have to be population centers somewhere with soldiers. There must be other rulers who might want to take advantage of a weakened military to add to their kingdoms. Is there no trade with other nations in this world? If her rule is so poisonous why is there no revolt?
Chapter 4: 13:00 – 18:38
In the tower where she is imprisoned, Snow White creates a makeshift fire and prays. Another young woman, Greta, is brought in and thrown in a cell. Greta tells Snow White that all the young girls were taken from her village and that she was captured trying to contact Duke Hammond at his castle. Snow White asks about the Duke, if he still fights in her father’s name and if William is still alive. Greta wonders what will happen to her.
Ravenna eats a bird heart while milk from her bath pours out into the castle’s courtyard. People try to capture and drink the milk. Ravenna asks her brother if he remembers when they had to beg for scraps and asks him if she isn’t kinder. She then submerges herself in the bath and reemerges coated with milk.
Ravenna is presented with two men who were captured raiding a supply train. The men are father and son. Ravenna compliments the looks of the son and says there was a time when she “would have lost her heart to a face like his, and he no doubt would have broken it”. The young man takes a knife from the guard and stabs Ravenna in the stomach. She pulls the knife out and isn’t even bleeding. She places her hand on the young man’s chest and a heartbeat is heard quickening. The man dies and Ravenna releases his father, telling him to report to the Duke of her generosity.
Not only is this portion of the movie stupid, it’s also entirely unnecessary. The entire 5:38 could be cut from the movie with no harm, and the scenes raise more questions than they answer.
For example, is Snow White a Christian? Why is she reciting the Lord’s Prayer? If this is some medieval kingdom and they are Christians, then when and in what part of Europe is this taking place? How are the serfs putting up with having a witch as a queen? Wouldn’t there be something like, I don’t know, a Pope taking umbrage with her? She seems like a great target for a mini-Crusade.
Why is Snow White’s prison cell so spacious? They give her a gown to wear, and a fire place with candles and dry twigs but no furniture? Where did she get those dry twigs? Greta says Ravenna told the kingdom that everyone in the castle had been killed when the King died. Why bother to keep Snow White around if you are going to hide the fact that she is alive? Also, why put Greta in the tower? Isn’t there a dungeon or something? Why let Snow White get updates on the outside world?
What is the deal with the milk bath? We never see it again and it serves no purpose other than to have Charlize Theron covered in white latex house paint. As we will see later, it’s not part of a beauty regimen. It doesn’t make any sense why she would disrobe and yet keep her crown on while she dips it in milk, or whatever that is. It also makes no sense why she would disrobe in front of her brother then cover her private parts. Finally, why are people drinking milk that rains down from a gutter?
If those two men raided the supply trains, from where are the supplies coming? For that matter, where are they going? Is there a war going on against the Duke? Is the Duke asking for help from France, Spain, or the Holy Roman Empire to depose the heathen queen? With whom is Ravenna trading? Are there farms or feudal lords providing food for the kingdom? Didn’t the narrator say the land died? Where is all that milk coming from?
Finally, once again we see that Ravenna is really an unhappy woman. She sees a guy who is handsome and she stops his heart because she thinks he might break her heart. Good gracious does she need counseling. Does her entire army consist of ugly dudes to whom she isn’t attracted? Is it this young guy’s fault that she’s superficial and is only cares about his physical appearance? “You have stolen from the Queen, but your real transgression is being handsome and exposing how shallow I am!”
Chapter 5: 18:38 – 22:14
Ravenna looks at her face in the mirror. Her brother says that magic comes at a price and she feels she looks old. Ravenna feels her power is fading but her brother has something that will help her. Greta is in the chamber, and Ravenna grabs her by the throat and drains her of her youth. Greta is placed back in her cell, now looking like an old woman.
Ravenna consults with the magic mirror and asks who is fairest. The mirror states that on that day one has come of age that is fairer than Ravenna, and that is the reason Ravenna’s power ebbs. That person is Snow White. The mirror cautions that Snow White’s purity and innocence can ruin Ravenna, but also save her. The mirror says that by taking Snow White’s heart into her hands she will remain forever young and beautiful, and her power will never fade. She sends her brother to bring Snow White. Oddly, her brother cannot see the form of the spirit of the mirror.
So using her magic, for example stopping a boy’s heart, causes Ravenna to age. Why, then, waste power on stopping his heart when you have all those soldiers to just slaughter him? I guess it’s fun to have the reputation for having magic, especially in a medieval Christian world, but let’s face it – without her army she can’t rule a kingdom. Also, you’d think word of her witchcraft would get back to some priest somewhere.
Luckily, she can drain the youth from young women like the Sketsies from The Dark Crystal. Ravenna, who so hates young, handsome men for stealing the youth and hearts of young women just robs poor Greta of her youth. What is her deal? Does Ravenna want to help young women not to suffer as she had? If so, then why rob an entire village of its young women and then rob those women of their youth? If she is taking all the women of child bearing age, how does she expect her kingdom to survive? How does she plan on ruling a kingdom when she just goes around stealing women? That’s a terrible way to placate the populace.
Once again, Ravenna decides to check with her gong to see if she’s the fairest. As it turns out, it isn’t just a sniveling yes man. It tells her that now Snow White is old enough (fortuitous that Ravenna asked on Snow White’s birthday), she can be counted as fairer than Ravenna. Luckily, if Ravenna holds Snow White’s heart in her hand she’ll be immortal. You’d think this is information the gong might have imparted sooner. Also, how is Snow White sapping her power? She’s just sitting up in the cell. And how can Snow White’s innocence and purity end Ravenna? A knife to the gut had no effect.
Also, I like that the mirror can make universal judgments on who’s fairer. It’s not in the eye of the beholder or, that the mirror prefers blondes. No, it can state, unequivocally, who is fairer and Ravenna accepts it as the final call on matters of fairness. Is this supposed to be the mirror’s opinion or just an indisputable fact? If it’s just an opinion, then it doesn’t really know who’s fairer and a biased mirror is much less valuable than an omniscient one. If it does know who is fairest, what criteria does it use to determine this? Is “fairness” subjective or objective? Is Snow White considered the fairest by more people than anyone else? Does she have a plurality of the vote? Does everyone think Snow White is fairer? Does the mirror just make this decision on its own, being the sole arbiter of to what degree people are fair?
What’s the deal with Ravenna’s brother not being able to see the metal ghost from the mirror? Is Ravenna just hallucinating?
Chapter 6: 22:14 – 27:32
Snow White is in her cell when a bird comes to the window. The bird flies away as she approaches but looking out the window she notices a nail sticking out of the brick on the outer wall. She pries the nail free. Ravenna’s brother, Finn, comes to Snow White’s cell and she acts as if she were sleeping. Finn asks if he woke her and asks if she is always awake when he watches her. Snow White comments on this being the first time he entered her cell and Finn says his sister wouldn’t allow it. He moves in closer to her and tells her that Ravenna wants her beating heart. Snow White scratches his face with the nail and runs out of her cell.
Snow White locks Finn into her cell and tries to rescue Greta but Greta is too old to escape. Snow White runs though the castle while Finn and his guards give chase. She sees the Duke’s man, whose son Ravenna killed, leaving the castle and the birds that led her to the nail fly by her and land near a drainage opening. Snow White slides through the opening into water. She comes to the end of the drainage tunnel and it is in a cliff face. She jumps out and lands in the sea. Finn sends his men out after her.
Snow White swims to the shore and the birds appear again and lead her to a white horse that is waiting on the beach. Snow White mounts the horse and gallops away.
Ok, so we don’t really know what the Magic Gong means by “coming of age”. Snow White could be 18 by now, or 16, or maybe it’s her Quinceañera. Either way, she has been in the cell for years, and she never bothered to look out the window and noticed that nail? Why did Ravenna keep Finn out of Snow White’s cell? Who was bringing her food and twigs with which to make fire? Where did she get that gown, and her leather pants underneath? Why would Ravenna send just Finn to get Snow White when her eternal youth, beauty, and power rested on Snow White’s heart being in her hand? I’d have sent everyone, and gone myself. Was Ravenna too busy?
As expected, Finn is incompetent. He’s enthralled by Snow White’s beauty, I guess because he can’t meet any young girls of his own since his sister is stealing them all, and someone keeps cutting his hair to make him look like an actual dickhead. (Sorry to divert from the plot discussion, but Kristen Stewart has only one facial expression. She spends the entire movie looking like she just was assigned homework. The whole scene is so wooden.) Back to the plot, why does Snow White act like she’s asleep then say she wasn’t when Finn comes in? What advantage did that net her?
I know that drainage tunnel is narrow and only thin person could sneak through it. However, why isn’t it barred at one end or the other? Every other opening in the castle has bars over it but here’s a free way into the castle. Any army with some small soldiers, a boat, and a ladder could lay siege with ease. Ravenna had the architects build her a milk fountain but she couldn’t block that path? Even the fairies know about it (spoiler alert).
Also, Snow White is jumping out into the sea. She is going to have to wash up on the shore. How is it possible Finn’s guys are nowhere near? I guess the birds led her and the horse to a spot that they missed.
Chapter 7: 27:33 – 33:35
Snow White rides through a nearby town and the townspeople look at her warily. Finn’s soldiers ride through right behind her. They chase her through a forest. Snow White’s horse falls in to a mud pit and she falls off. She leaves the horse behind and continues on foot. The soldiers’ horses balk at following through the mud.
While running through the forest, Snow White trips and falls. Gas comes up from the ground and Snow White inhales some. She starts seeing images of beetles and gargoyles. She collapses on the ground.
Ravenna is upset and she blames Finn for letting Snow White escape. She says there is no loyalty anymore. Finn tells her Snow White escaped into the Dark Forest where the men lost her. Ravenna slaps Finn and then says she has no power in the Dark Forest and Finn has to find someone who knows the forest and can hunt her.
Look at that town! It’s right outside the castle, the capital of whatever kingdom Ravenna has, and it is in bad shape. How, again, is she still the queen? Ravenna must put down revolts bi-annually. And of what, exactly, is she the queen? What kind of bizarre topography is going on in this kingdom where there’s a beach with rocks and a cliff face and then a short gallop away, there is a deciduous forest with soft, muddy ground? Snow White didn’t even veer off the road, so it looks like the main road travels through this forest with the LSD gas. Can’t they build a road around it? If even Ravenna’s army of ugly men is afraid to enter the dark forest, who’s going in there so often that someone built a road to it?
Ravenna is suitably upset when she hears the news. Some of it is Ravenna’s fault for having en entire army and sending only her idiot brother. However, the comment about “With a nail…if she had a sword, she’d have my entire kingdom.” How do you figure? If Snow White had a sword she would have just killed your brother. How is she going to take over the kingdom with just a sword? Ravenna has already shown a considerable resistance to swords.
Charlize Theron goes into total over-acting mode when Ravenna finds out Snow White is gone. It’s like she has all to make up for the lack of emotion shown by Stewart. It’s like she’s doing an exercise for an acting class where she has to scream all of her lines and grunt. I can only surmise that the idea is to show how absolutely unhinged Ravenna is.
Chapter 8: 33:36 – 37:11
Out in the town, the Huntsman is engaged in a fist fight with a soldier, which he is losing. After being kicked by a horse, he loses consciousness and wakes in a trough filled with water. Finn is standing over him, accompanied by more soldiers. The Huntsman is taken to Ravenna who tells him he is to find a prisoner and return her to Ravenna. The Huntsman initially refuses, and Ravenna threatens to kill him. He is unmoved by her threat and she mentions his dead wife. This elicits an angry reaction from the Huntsman, and Ravenna tells him she will bring his wife back if he brings the prisoner back to Ravenna. The Huntsman is next seen leading Finn and some soldiers into the Dark Forest.
In the entire Kingdom, there are only a few people who have ventured into the Dark Forest? This is remarkably poor governance. There’s a big forest in your kingdom, you’d think you would send some people in there to see if there are any useful resources, like wood or game animals, or even milk or a young women whose vitality you could steal. You’d want scout it out for potential hiding spots for brigands or highwaymen. You certainly would check to see where that road went. However, Ravenna and the kings before her, apparently just left it to its own devices. Hell, they didn’t even bother to ask anyone who had been in there before what he/she had seen. It’s just a big unknown area on the map – who cares?
I’m curious how Ravenna knows that the Huntsman knows of her power. Does he know that she can raise the dead? Has she done it before? The Huntsman takes Finn out into the woods but he has nothing but clothes and an axe – no bow, or distance weapon that one might use to hunt animals – just an axe. What does he hunt, trees?
Ravenna tells the Huntsman to bring Snow White to her, but then sends Finn along with him. So he really is just leading Finn’s men to Snow White. I guess they need to go along with him since only Finn really knows who the Huntsman is supposed to bring back. Also, why are the soldiers suddenly no longer afraid of the Dark Forest? Just because this drunk Huntsman is leading them, they’re guaranteed safety?
Chapter 9: 37:12- 42:48
In the Dark Forest, Snow White wakes when she hears the men approaching. She runs off into the forest as the Huntsman tracks her via footprints. Snow White hides in a tree’s roots. The Huntsman finds her and drags her out. She pleads with him to help her, saying the queen will kill her. Finn and his men arrive. The Huntsman demands to know what Ravenna will do with Snow White and Finn tells him it’s none of his concern. The Huntsman demands what he was promised. Finn tells him that Ravenna can’t bring people back from the dead.
The Huntsman attacks Finn and his soldiers, stabbing Finn with his axe, and disabling the soldiers. Finn removes the axe from his gut and keeps fighting, while Snow White Runs away. Finn is distracted by Snow White’s flight and the Huntsman knocks him into a patch of the hallucinogenic dirt. Finn starts seeing things and the Huntsman catches up to Snow White. He asks her why the Queen wants her and she says he should know as he is hunting her. He decides it’s too much trouble to deal with her and starts to leave. Snow White asks the Huntsman to help her make it to the Duke’s castle and she says he will be rewarded. The Huntsman doesn’t trust her but he agrees anyway.
Okay, so the Huntsman just follows Snow White’s OBVIOUS foot prints in the mud. That’s the extent of his hunting skills. Is there no one in Ravenna’s ugly army that can follow footprints? She has a really shitty army. How is she still in power? Also, what happened to that white horse Snow White was riding?
Why does Finn tell the Huntsman that Ravenna can’t bring his wife back? Just keep the lie up at least until you have Snow White in custody. Or, just kill the Huntsman as soon as he finds Snow White. Clearly, Ravenna isn’t going to pay her debt and she wouldn’t want the Huntsman running around talking about what he saw, and how she’s a welcher. Nope, Finn does the stupidest thing he can do, infuriating the Huntsman, who then is able to gut Finn and dispatch Finn’s 3 soldiers. Again, Ravenna has a shitty army.
Snow White tells the Huntsman the Queen will kill him, which is true. The Huntsman scoffs at the Duke’s army, saying it’s farmers and milkmaids. If this is true, what has the Duke been doing the last ten years? I mean, he was the King’s main military advisor – he can’t muster up a fighting force? Couldn’t he ask for help from the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Prussia? And if he’s such a problem for Ravenna, he has a fixed base of operations, and he has no fighting force, why doesn’t she just wipe him out? No one in this kingdom seems to have any idea what is going on outside of his/her immediate field of vision.
Chapter 10: 42:49 – 46:14
At the Duke’s castle, the old man whose son was killed tells the Duke of his encounter with Ravenna. He also says Princess Snow White is alive. He asks where the Duke’s son is and the scene shifts to William, attacking a supply train of Ravenna’s. William displays extraordinary fighting and marksmanship skills with a bow. When William returns to the castle, his father tells him of Snow White’s escape. Williams heads off to the Dark Forest to find her.
In the Dark Forest, Snow White and the Huntsman walk. Snow White has a branch turn into snakes in front of her but the Huntsman cuts the branch and it is only wood. He tells her the forest gains its strength from her weakness. The Huntsman takes a drink from his canteen and Snow White asks why he drinks. He tells her it is none of her business and cuts her dress to make it easier for her to walk.
So, the Duke’s army isn’t just farmers and milkmaids. He seems to have a much better-equipped castle than Ravenna. He is also the only person, besides Finn and Ravenna, who bathes in this movie. Everyone else is permanently dirty, it seems. Not only are they better equipped, but they have better intelligence. Somehow, the man whose son Ravenna killed, knew who Snow White was by watching her dive into a sewer. This guy is just flat- out amazing. He had JUST watched his son die after seeing the Queen pull a dagger from her stomach. In his bewilderment and grief he spots a young woman running from the guards and he knows it’s Snow White, even though he hasn’t seen her ten years or so. Not only that, but somehow he knows where she went! “Sir, the last I saw of her, she was falling out of the castle into the sea. I can only surmise that fairies led her to a horse, and she rode said horse into the Dark Forest.”
Snow White seems to have gone from about eight to late teens, but William, who was around the same age as Snow White in the beginning of the movie is now twenty-five, or so. Maybe the Queen aged him a bit. Regardless, he is still smitten with Snow White to the point that he just rushes off to the Dark Forest to find her. That is some fine torch carrying.
The Duke is saying that he can’t afford to lose any more men, but we’ve seen one encounter with the Duke’s men versus Ravenna’s and heard tell of another. The Duke’s men seem to be routinely shellacking Ravenna’s so how are they thin in their ranks? I guess the Queen pays better. Still, you would think the Duke would seek outside help, right? Maybe he can strike up an alliance with the Ottoman Empire so he doesn’t need to steal supplies from the Queen.
Is the Huntsman really lugging around a flagon of mead with him in the Dark Forest? Doesn’t this guy have any survival skills? When Snow White asked him why he drinks he should have said, “To stay hydrated, stupid. We’re out in the woods so I brought water.” Of course, he thinks that the forest gains its strength from others weaknesses, when really Snow White is still having a bad trip.
Chapter 11: 46:15 – 50:45
William waits on the road as Finn and more soldiers ride up. He asks Finn if he needs a bowman. Finn says he already has one and tells the bowman to kill William. William catches the other archer’s arrow and fires it back at him, killing him. Finn lets William ride with him.
In the Dark Forest, the Huntsman gives Snow White instruction on how to use a knife. Snow White says she couldn’t kill someone and the Huntsman says she might not have a choice. Ravenna is in the Dark Forest and sees a flower blossom. She crushes it in her hand and it turns to ash.
Snow White and the Huntsman come to the edge of the Dark Forest where a bridge spans a small furrow. As they approach the bridge, it is revealed to be a troll. The troll attacks the two humans. The Huntsman tries to fight the troll but is knocked into the dirt. The troll advances on the prone Huntsman and Snow White runs in and shouts at it. The troll shouts at Snow White in return. The troll and Snow White stare at each other for a moment, then the troll walks off. The Huntsman scolds Snow White for not running when he told her but she reminds him that if she had, he would be dead.
Finn has no business being in charge of anyone. A stranger asks for a job, and instead of just saying no and riding by him Finn tells his soldier to murder him in the street. When that man proves to be superhuman, Finn agrees to take him on with no further discussion. Finn isn’t worried about where this man came from, or who he is, or even why this mysterious archer didn’t bother to haggle over wages. You’d also think that Finn would realize his supply wagons have been attacked by a talented archer, and that the Duke’s son is a known archer. Hell, you’d think Finn might know what the Duke’s son looks like because the Duke is carrying out active resistance against his sister, the Queen.
I also wonder why the Queen allows her enemy Hammond to maintain his Duchy, if he’s openly supporting rebellion.
The knife instruction is high comedy. The Huntsman had just taken the knife from Snow White hours earlier because she might hurt someone. He then has a change of heart and just hands her a knife and gives her two minutes of training. “Block and then stab at the heart.” is the summation of his instruction. That’s like telling someone “Remove the tumor, and then sew the body back up.” There is a little practice needed before one can become an accomplished knife fighter. Of course, the Huntsman obviously isn’t an accomplished knife fighter as he tells Snow White to “stab, then look into their eyes until you see their soul.” First, if you are trying to kill someone with a knife, the goal is to make that person bleed to death. The last thing you want to do is leave the blade in the wound to staunch bleeding. Rather, you want to stab the opponent as many times as possible to make many holes out of which the person’s blood can flow. Also, assuming the denizens of this feudal society have souls, and the can be seen through someone’s eyes, why would you look for the soul while involved in a knife fight? Just stab the person until he/she stops breathing. The soul will take care of itself.
Look everyone, it’s a troll! I guess the producers had some extra money left over for CGI and decided to make a troll appear around a bridge. It really moves the story along. The troll almost kills the Huntsman then inexplicably leaves Snow White alone. She doesn’t even take a thorn out of its foot or anything. I guess it can sense her innocence and beauty. As we all know, trolls don’t eat anything beautiful or innocent. The troll doesn’t befriend her, or even reappear in the movie. It’s just another wasted scene, or an attempt to throw in some action to distract the viewer from the atrocity he/she is seeing.
Speaking of wasted scenes, why have the scene of Ravenna in the woods?
Chapter 12: 50:46 – 55:21
Snow White and the Huntsman walk through wet lands and come upon a group of women in boats, armed with bows. Snow White and the Huntsman tell the women they are fugitives from the queen and mean them no harm. The women take Snow White and the Huntsman back to their fishing village. There are no men in the village. One of the village women tends to the Huntsman’s wounds and tells him who Snow White really is. The Huntsman asks her why she didn’t tell him sooner and Snow White response she didn’t trust him.
The village woman tells Snow White that they all scarred themselves so they would be protected from the queen. It allows the women of that village to raise their children while their fathers are away at war. The Huntsman leaves in the night and the village woman chases after. She asks him how he can leave Snow White now that he knows the truth. He replies that everything he loves has been taken from him and he won’t have it happen again.
The women of the village say that only demons or spirits pass through the dark forest and demand to know which of the two Snow White and the Huntsman are. How do these women know that Snow White and the Huntsman passed through the forest? Did they see them enter on one side, then run around the perimeter of the dark forest, hop in their boats and wait for them on the other side? If they did, then they’d know they weren’t spirits or demons. Also, what are they doing there? Are they on patrol? Their suspicious are allayed by the Huntsman telling her they’re fugitives from the queen, and then providing no proof. Trusting lot, these women.
What’s up with this fishing village? All the men are gone, and they’re off at war? What war? If Ravenna’s kingdom is at war, then you’d think there’d be mention of it. Or maybe the Duke would be using that war as an opportunity to launch an attack against Ravenna’s men. He said they were the only ones left, so who are the men of this village fighting? Are they pushing back the Huns? Also, just because the men are out fighting why aren’t there any male children running around? What about old men who can’t fight? The women scar their faces so they aren’t beautiful and thus of no use to the queen. How is this plan working? She doesn’t take people’s beauty, she takes youth. Greta didn’t suddenly put on weight, break out with acne, or have scars appear on her face. She aged. Having scars won’t protect you from the queen. I can only hope that the movie is trying to point out our culture’s perception of beauty – especially for women.
While the village woman is tending the Huntsman’s wounds she tells him who Snow White is. How the hell does she know? Snow White was presumed dead, and was in a tower for years. These are years during which she went through puberty and her appearance is drastically different. Hell, when the woman first saw her she thought she might be a demon! And now they place some importance on Snow White. She’s a no one! She has no power. She doesn’t have an army waiting somewhere to help her. The Queen has full control of the population, and just one girl whose father last sat on the throne a decade ago isn’t going to change that. Is the queen really going to listen to Snow White’s petition for her throne to be returned to her? Ravenna took the kingdom by force, and plans on living forever. She isn’t concerned with succession. If just having a Snow White were enough, someone would have created a hoax Snow White by now to usurp the throne.
The Huntsman won’t help Snow White because he has lost everything he loves. Does that mean he loves Snow White? When did that happen? Also, where is he going? He just walks off into the night with no supplies or anything. They had to take boats to get to the village so, is he just going to walk along some road until he finds another village? Does he even know where he is? I mean, somehow there’s a village with no men and plentiful fish and yet no one knows about it. I feel like if that place were known, it’d be popular for…let’s say…every man within a month’s walk.
Chapter 13: 55:22 – 59:12
While Snow White sleeps, the village is attacked. Finn and his men use flaming arrows to burn the huts and ride through on horseback looking for Snow White. William sees Snow White and shoots one of Finn’s men before that man can catch her. He tries to make it to Snow White but is blocked by burning debris. William kills another of Finn’s men. The Huntsman can hear screaming and looks back to see the orange glow of the fire. He runs back to the village and kills a few of Finn’s men but can’t find Snow White. Snow White is helping the women evacuate the village in their boats. A soldier grabs Snow White but the Huntsman throws a knife into the back of the soldier. He tries to drag Snow White away but she refuses until the village woman tells her to go.
Back at the castle, Ravenna has a flashback to when she was made forever youthful. A spell was cast on her by some woman who tells Ravenna to avenge her as she is being dragged away by armed men. Ravenna cries.
How did Finn and his men find Snow White? Are they able to track over water? How would they even know what part of the forest Snow White and the Huntsman used as an egress? Can his men track boats long after they’ve passed? Are there boat prints on the water? It looks like Finn and his men rode to the village on horseback, so how do they know where this village is? Did they ask the troll? Why do they burn the village down? Just ride in and grab the women and go door to door looking. Instead, they burn the village, making it harder to find their quarry. If you’re looking for someone, why add smoke? Where are all those bow wielding women we saw in the last chapter? They were ready to do battle with what they thought might be demons or spirits, but five guys on horseback, is too much. How did the village get surprised like that? They patrol the edge of the dark forest but don’t have sentries for their village when they are harboring fugitives?
William breaks cover and shoots a few of Finn’s men. Why doesn’t he just kill all of them? Or at least kill as many as he can? With Finn out of the way he can find Snow White at his leisure. How fast is the Huntsman? When he first realizes the village is on fire he can’t even see it. Yet, he is able to respond there on foot before Snow White can even get in a boat. Speaking of boats, why didn’t Finn burn the boats first so the women couldn’t escape? Ravenna has a really shitty army.
What is the deal with Ravenna’s flashback? She was turned into whatever she is by three drops of blood when she was not even a teen ager. Why did she age into a beautiful thirty year old woman? Also, how was her beauty supposed to save that village? Were the attacking men supposed to take a young Ravenna and rape her instead of the other women? That didn’t help explain Ravenna’s motivations at all. Finally, was that Charlize Theron’s real back, or did they paint the ribs and vertebrae on her? She needs a sandwich.
Chapter 14: 59:13 – 1:04:00
Snow White and the Huntsman cross a stream and rest. Snow White laments being at the village and is upset with the Huntsman for leaving. He feels guilty and promises to take her to the Duke. Suddenly they are attacked and knocked unconscious. They awake while being strung upside down by their attackers – Dwarves. The Dwarves know and dislike the Huntsman, and they debate what to do with the two humans. Snow White asks if they support the queen and when they say they don’t, she divulges her identity. Muir, the oldest dwarf confirms her identity.
Riders approach and the Dwarves decide to take Snow White with them. She demands they take the Huntsman as well. The Dwarves cut them down and lead them to a huge cavern. Finn and his remaining men find the spot where Snow White and the Huntsman were hanging and realize they are close.
Hey, you know there had to be Dwarves eventually, and due to inflation there are now eight of them. These Dwarves are not the kindly ones from the story. These are brigands. They wait by streams to waylay travelers and rob them. This seems like a rather short sighted plan. How many people do they expect to just be walking along a stream? You’re supposed to rob people by a road. None the less, the Dwarves gang up on the Huntsman like Ewoks on a storm trooper and hang him and Snow White up. They know and dislike the Huntsman, and Snow White tells him to tell the Dwarves the truth. That immediately makes you wonder why she can’t do it, then she proceeds to do it herself. Why put in the dialogue of her telling him to do it? The Dwarves rightly are skeptical until Muir, who must have some power, is able to just stare at her and do a DNA analysis. He can also glean that she has a special destiny.
The Dwarves say they lost everything when the King died. Uh…how? What did they have before? Did Ravenna annex their caves or confiscate their earnings? I’m guessing they did not have military training because when the queen’s men show up and are riding nearby, they all start shouting. I guess they want to give away their position. They also don’t know enough to take their rope with them. Then again, who would think that Finn has someone who can smell rope and determine how long ago it was on human hands? If the Dwarves were smart, they’d realize that Finn only has three men left with him. If these eight Dwarves can’t over power the Finn quartet with the Huntsman’s help they are worthless.
Chapter 15: 1:04:01 – 1:10:37
The Dwarves lead Snow White and the Huntsman into an idyllic forest glade. It is Sanctuary, the home of the fairies. The group makes camp near a circle of stones. Snow White thanks Muir for keeping her alive. Muir and the other Dwarves relate what happened to them. They were gold miners. Ravenna took power, and the Dwarves were in the mines. When the Dwarves surfaced they found everything barren and everyone gone. Snow White dances with one of the Dwarves, Gus, and the others remark how they feel better and their ailments are improving. They think Snow White is the cause of their improvement.
Beeth and the Huntsman talk about why the Huntsman hasn’t abandoned Snow White and what destiny she has.
Sanctuary, the home of the fairies? Are you kidding me? Look at that place! Butterflies everywhere, moss covered turtles, and mushrooms with eyes. Also, there are shimmering fairies leaving a trail of glitter in the air behind them. Quick aside, having a glittering trail when you fly should have been weeded out by evolution. You would assume fairies have some enemies and a shiny comet tail just lets them find you more easily. Anyway, this fairy land is just jarring and out of place with the rest of the movie. Suddenly, Snow White and the Huntsman have bathed and are clean for the first time. Ravenna has destroyed the kingdom and yet, a short cave walk away, here is a veritable Eden, full of ethereal beings that smile and flit about. You’d think Ravenna would have some influence here. Does she have any scouts or map makers in her employ?
The Dwarves’ tale of woe makes no sense. They went down in to the mines and when they surfaced everyone was gone and everything was black? Was there a fire? How long were they down there? They say a month, but how could Ravenna destroy the entire kingdom in a month? Why would she even bother? What’s the point of ruling a kingdom if all you do is burn it to the ground? Also, there used to be a large number of Dwarves. Where are the rest of them? Did they die from really small pox? If they all hate Ravenna, why not join forced with the Duke, or the Hapsburgs?
This scene is great for more of Kristin Stewart’s annoyed pout. Also, the only thing less awkward than her acting is her dancing. I guess she’s supposed to be awkward after being trapped in a tower for the last ten years or so, but she looked like Bambi on ice, and by ice I mean Crystal Meth.
The Huntsman wonders why he is still with Snow White. Well, what else is he going to do? He seems to only own 1 set of clothes, an axe, and a few knives. He seems to have no fixed address, no friends, and he’s a fugitive from the government. The question is why he didn’t make a fairy line to the Duke immediately. Either that or hook up with the Moors.
Chapter 16: 1:10 -38 – 1:14:50
Snow White wakes in the morning and the two birds who led her out of the tower land on a log near her. Fairies crawl out of their bellies and lead Snow White out of the camp. The Dwarves and the Huntsman wake also. Muir says “It’s him” after being awakened. Snow White follows the fairies to a huge tree in the middle of a clearing. In front of the tree is a large, white stag. The Dwarves and the Huntsman follow Snow White. All the animals of the Sanctuary align around the tree and the fairies are riding on them.
The Huntsman tries to approach Snow White but Beeth cautions him, saying “No one’s ever seen this before.” Snow White pets the stag’s face, and it bows to her. Muir says the White Hart is blessing Snow White, and that she is life itself and will heal the land. The Dwaves and Huntsman vow to follow Snow White wherever she goes.
Was this part of the movie done by a different director? The film has taken a sudden left turn into absurdity and childishness. Why do the fairies, which can fly on their own, ride in the bellies of the birds? Were they eaten by the birds? Are the bids some sort of power armor for the fairies? If Snow White was led out of the tower by fairies, why didn’t they lead her all the way to Sanctuary? Why did they wait for Snow White to have a camp fire before beckoning her? Did they need time to call in all the fluffy animals to witness the White Hart bow to her? Is one of them a notary public? The whole scene is just silly and at odds with the rest of this terrible movie.
Beeth says “No one’s ever seen this before.” How does he know? The Dwarves are clearly knowledgeable about the White Hart and Sanctuary so they must have seen something like it. Why does the White Hart bow? It’s an entirely uncervine thing to do, and it looks idiotic. Is the White Hart going to join forces with Snow White and assault the castle? Spoiler alert – no. The fairies won’t do anything other than bow to her. This whole insipid scene is just to show that fairies dig Snow White. Also, that somehow she has the power to heal the sick and make the land fertile. I guess this power just manifested itself since she “came of age”, because she had been in the kingdom the whole time not healing it for shit up until then. I guess that when Snow White gets her first period, she can make the crops grow. That is some strong fertility mythology there.
Chapter 17 1:14:51 – 1:20:33
The White Hart is shot by an arrow from Finn’s men. The Hart turns into a kaleidoscope of butterflies, which fly away. Two of the Dwarves fight Finn’s tracker. The Huntsman squares off against Finn. William intercepts the last of Finn’s men and tries to pick up Snow White. William is knocked off his horse, but Snow White keeps Gus from killing him. William tells Snow White who he is.
Finn soundly beats the Huntsman in combat and tells the Huntsman how his wife died. The Huntsman tackles Finn into a broken tree, impaling him on the wood. Ravenna senses her brother’s condition, and writhes on the floor of her chambers in pain. Finn asks her to heal him but she cannot. Finn ages on the tree and dies. Gus jumps in front of an arrow meant for Snow White and William shoots the tracker, finally killing him. Gus dies. A long camera shot shows the forest in contrast with the rest of the land.
So, is the White Hart an actual hart or is he a flight of butterflies? Why call him the White Hart if he has several forms? How do the fairies and animals not hear Finn and his men approach? I mean, there are rabbits and deer and birds and all sorts of creatures with excellent hearing, sense of smell, and eye sight. Were Finn and his goons able to slip past every living creature in that forest? If it’s so monumental to have the White Swarm of Butterflies bow to Snow White (for those keeping track at home, white = good, black = bad. So sorry, Civil Rights movement.). Couldn’t they put a guard somewhere? At a minimum the two fairies who led her out of the tower have to know she’s being chased. I mean, Finn and his guys are on horseback! You know, clip-clop, clip-clop horses! How does a horse prowl through the woods? Do they have stealth horses?
Nonetheless, the tracker shoots the White Flock of Butterflies in the Shape of a Hart. What are his motivations here? They are supposed to capture Snow White to deliver her heart to Ravenna. So, you’d think they need her alive. However, the tracker shoots at her minutes later, so maybe not. If they don’t need her alive, then just shoot her first while you have the element of surprise. She won’t be of any use to the Dwarves while she’s dead, so they will probably leave her behind. Or, how about you shoot that big ass Huntsman? And why didn’t Finn have all of his men get into position first and make a concentrated assault? Shitty army.
There are some serious problems with the action scenes as well. The scene with the Tracker beating up the Dwarves is well choreographed and filmed. Finn and the Huntsman’s fight is fine until the Huntsman doesn’t seem to know how his wife died. It’s the single most important event in his life and he seems to have no information about it. Finn, for his part, doesn’t help much either. Was the wife killed by the sword, did she have her youth taken by Ravenna, did she die from the Consumption? Also, when the Huntsman pushes Finn onto the tree, they are chest to chest. When the Huntsman steps away, the wood is protruding a good 6 inches out of his body. How did the Huntsman not also get impaled? Even when they start to fight, Finn shows up standing 5 feet away from the Huntsman, in light woods. How did he not see Finn approach? The Huntsman is a huntsman. You’d think he would have some sense of what is going on around him while in the woods.
William knocks one of Finn’s men off his horse and that guy immediately disappears. You never see him again. The Tracker is able to catch up to Snow White before this clown can get up and back on his horse. Maybe he just deserted. Maybe the worthless fairies and the other 4 Dwarves caught him off screen. Maybe the director just forgot about him. Also, Gus is shot in his back by an arrow and Snow White rolls him on to his back, where there should be an arrow protruding. How the fuck is that happening? Is she just trying to make it worse? We also see that while Snow White can cure gout, chronic coughs, and general mood disorders, but her mere presence is nothing when compared to a punctured lung.
Finally that long shot is hilarious. There is the Sanctuary, all nice and green, surrounded by charred, black, burning hell scape. What is going on to create those giant plumes of smoke? Did Ravenna finally decide to do something about the Dark Forest and just burn it to the ground?
Chapter 18: 1:20:24 – 1:31:12
The Dwarves have a funeral for Gus and tell Snow White they will pledge themselves to her. They give Snow White Gus’ sword. Snow White, the Huntsman, William, and the Dwarves walk along the countryside. Snow White and William talk. Williams apologizes for not trying to save her, thinking she was dead. Snow White forgives him. In the castle, Ravenna is in a trance while black birds circle her.
Snow White walks through the snow and talks with William. William says everything will be better when she is queen. She wonders how she will be able to lead men. William says he wants to take her away where she’ll be safe, but they both have a duty. William talks about how he followed Snow White when they were kids. Snow White kisses him. He gives her an apple and she takes a bite. After the bite, the apple turns black and Snow White falls ill. William tells her that love always betrays.
At the camp, the Huntsman awakes, and wakes the real William. The fake William turns into Ravenna. Ravenna talks to Snow White about why she is killing her and pulls a knife to cut out her heart. Before she can, William and the Huntsman arrive. The Huntsman swings his axe at Ravenna who turns into a murder of crows. The crows attack William and the Huntsman briefly then fly away. The Dwarves arrive on the scene and the Huntsman tells them to help Snow White. William kisses Snow White but she remains catatonic.
Clearly the Dwarves don’t know anything about Snow White as they give her a sword. She’s been locked in a tower for the last decade. She can’t use a knife, much less a sword, regardless of how much Ravenna feared the idea of Snow White with a sword. Then they go walk about, in a panoramic shot that must have sent Peter Jackson’s lawyers into frenzy. It is an absolute knock off of Lord of the Rings. The scenery is great, however with the lush, green mountains and the mist shrouding the group. This leads one to wonder why they are suddenly in a barren, snowy wood. Did they walk all through the autumn and into winter? Why is it so cold suddenly, and why is there a foot of snow on the ground when it was just green and misty? Did they travel to one of the poles for some reason? Are they still in Ravenna’s territory?
William, the Huntsman, and the remaining 6 Dwarves all dedicate themselves to leading and protecting Snow White. And yet, there she is walking around alone in a snowy forest. Doesn’t anyone in this kingdom keep a watch? What the fuck? And how in the wintry hell does Ravenna find Snow White? Did she put some sort of GPS tracker on Snow White? If she could pull that trick of becoming a small flock of birds and home in on Snow White why didn’t she do that in the first place? Why bother sending your doofus brother in your place? What is Ravenna’s plan here anyway? Was she going to carry Snow White back to the castle and kill her? She had a whole minute there with Snow White, why not kill her and take her heart on the spot? Finally, how do William and the Huntsman find Snow White? I guess they follow her footprints.
How does Ravenna know what Snow White’s childhood was like with William? She took over the castle 1 day after arriving in it, William left that night, and Ravenna had everyone in the castle killed. Did Snow White and Ravenna have long chats about how dreamy William is while Snow White was incarcerated? Ravenna couldn’t possibly know about William following Snow White or how they shared a love of apples. And why would she even bother to find out? I suppose she might have heard that William had attacked her brother and was helping Snow White, and then she asked around about the young couple. But, who would be left of the old King’s people to tell Ravenna anything? She put them all to the sword.
Last, the Huntsman yells at the Dwarves saying they need to help Snow White because they are healers. When did they become healers? They clearly have said, repeatedly, that they were miners and now are thieves. I don’t see any healing in that. Also, they all seem to have physical afflictions that only Snow White can heal. Did Chris Hemsworth just ad lib that line?
Chapter 19: 1:30:13 – 1:39:13
In Crows Form, Ravenna returns to the castle. She looks much older and reaches out to the mirror. At the Duke’s keep, the Huntsman, the Dwarves, and William take Snow White past a group of mourning people. Snow White lies unconscious on a bed, dressed in a white gown. The Huntsman talks to her in her slumber, lamenting her situation and talking about his wife. He speaks how his wife supported him after his time in the wars, how much he loved her, and how she disappeared. The loss of his wife sent him back to being a drunk, but Snow White reminds him of her. He says she will be a queen in heaven, kisses her, and walks out. Snow White revives.
William tries to convince his father to take action, saying Snow White died for them. The Duke refuses to, saying he has to protect people who come to him for help and he won’t leave the walls of his castle. The Huntsman kisses Snow White, and seconds later she wakes. Snow White then walks out into the courtyard and gives a speech, beseeching the Duke and his men to attack Ravenna. Snow White says she can be their weapon and she knows how to kill Ravenna. Everyone agrees and kneels before her.
How is Ravenna still the queen? She is a terrible tactician. Snow White escapes and she doesn’t bother to send troops to the ONE PLACE SNOW WHITE WILL INVARIABLY HEAD? Just send a detachment of your shitty army to intercept. Is the Duke’s castle’s location a secret or something? Greta was apparently captured on her way to the Duke’s castle so Ravenna must know something of the Duke’s base. For that matter, why allow him to be there in the first place? How is the entire contingent of the Duke’s men available to be standing inside the gates to mourn the sleeping beauty that Snow White has become? Did William ride out to warn them, gather everyone then ride back? Was it a flash mourn? Why would they even bother? None of those people have any reason to believe it is Snow White, much less care.
The Huntsman’s soliloquy is both boring and unnecessary. Yeah, we know what happened to his wife and we know he loves her. It didn’t bear repeating. More Christianity references in there as well. Snow White will be a queen in heaven with angels? He kisses her and she wakes. No one notices, of course because the entire castle showed up for her grand entrance and then someone prepared a bed of animal hides in an enormous chamber, and found a nice, clean dress in her size and put her in it. After that, they promptly left her alone. No one is watching her body or anything, so the Huntsman is allowed to kiss what he thinks is a corpse, and then walk away.
William wants to attack Ravenna. The Duke is worried about his men. Whatever the merits of their individual arguments, the condition of Snow White should not matter. Sure Ravenna can take a knife to the gut and steal women’s youth. She can turn into a flock of ravens, even. But without an army how does she maintain control over a kingdom? Either they have the men to storm the castle and take back the kingdom, or not. The Duke says he’s protecting people – how? Are they just gathering folks into the keep? From what we’ve been told, EVERYONE hates Ravenna and they either scar themselves or I guess go to the Duke. He should have roughly all of the population on his side. William clearly is a war monger and is willing to lie to fight Ravenna. He tells his father that Snow White died for them. No she didn’t. She escaped and was running for her life. She died because the queen kills young women. There was no sacrifice. No, the only one to die for someone was Gus dying for Snow White. Go to war for Gus, William! Speaking of war, what about the mystery war that all the men of the scar faced women are fighting?
Snow White, of course, is able to just walk out into the courtyard and speak to a gathering of soldiers. She gives a laughably bad speech about iron and fire, allusions that have no precedents in the film or for the soldiers. She claims she can kill the queen, without saying how. She demands that they ride like “thundering waves” showing a distinct lack of knowledge about the origins of thunder. I mean, she was just in a coma and she is somehow able to come to consciousness, figure out where she is even though she has never been to that castle before, judge the Duke’s forces fighting capacities, and then make demands. And everyone goes along with it! Shouldn’t someone have said “Hey, lady, who the fuck are you to tell us to fight? You’ve been in a tower for the last decade and you aren’t really up on the socio-political situation in this country or the tactical ramifications of assaulting the royal castle! You are also a terrible actress! Didn’t you just wake up from a coma? How do we know you aren’t brain damaged? Boo, you suck!”
Chapter 20: 1:39:14 – 1:46:38
Back at the castle, Ravenna stands in her chamber with women lying on the floor all around her. She has regained her youth. At the Duke’s castle, Snow White leads a column of armored soldiers on horseback. Ravenna is unafraid of the approaching army, whose numbers are swelling. She is confident they cannot breach the walls of her stronghold.
The Duke realizes that there isn’t enough time to breach the castle walls before the tide comes in, but Snow White tells him there is another way in. The Dwarves move through the sewers and sneak their way into the castle. The Dwarves see the gear house for the front gate but it is guarded. Snow White tells the Duke they must ride towards the castle to take advantage of the Dwarves opening the gate. The Huntsman speaks with Snow White, lending her his support. The Dwarves are able to disable one guard and make it to the gear house.
Snow White leads her army galloping down the beach while Ravenna’s men prepare to defend against a siege. The Dwarves take out the 3 guards on the gate house and monitor the approach of Snow White’s men. Ravenna’s men fire flaming projectiles from trebuchets at the approaching army. Archers fire at the army as well. The Dwarves work to open the gate as the advancing army has to stop at the gate and wait. The Dwarves open the gate and Snow White’s army enters the castle.
Suddenly this movie has turned from a really bad drama into a really bad action movie. Aside from the incredulity of people suddenly deciding to attack the castle just because Snow White shows up, the tactics are unbelievable. First, where did they find all those suits of plate mail and horses? The Duke has a serious, non-shitty army! They even happened to have a suit of armor for a lithe young woman handy so that Snow White could be involved in the fighting. Snow White has never worn armor before in her life, hasn’t ever trained to be on a horse while wearing armor, and hasn’t even ridden a horse in more than 10 years, but let’s put her on a steed anyway and throw her up front to lead a cavalry charge.
If you look at the Snow White’s forces, they are not equipped at all to attack a castle. All they have is cavalry, and not even cavalry with lances. You don’t attack a castle with horses! You need siege weapons to knock the walls or doors down. You also need things like food. Not one of those riders has even a bed roll with him. Do they expect to just take over the castle in one day? That is the plan, however. Well, it’s Snow White’s plan at least. She doesn’t bother to tell the Duke about the secret way in through the sewers until they are looking at the castle. You’d think they might have gone over that little bit of information before riding all the way out there. Or, you would think the Duke would know about that as he used to work in that castle. Also, they say they are riding under the King’s banner but that army has something like 30 banners. Which one is the old King’s and what are the rest of them?
Ravenna is confident in her defenses. She is so confident, in fact, that she doesn’t bother to erect any barriers on the beach to prevent an army from riding right up and besieging her palace. She doesn’t even bother to block the sewer system – the very same one that Snow White used to escape. Could they please put some bars there? Of course, the sewers let out right into the ocean and the exit point was dozens of feet above the ocean. Somehow the Dwarves who were noble miners and then common thieves have amassed training in how to swim out into the ocean and then climb a cliff face without being detected. They then are able to walk right through the courtyard, being covered in sewage, attacking soldiers, without being noticed. Once they find their target – the gate house which is being guarded by a grand total of four, count them four, soldiers during a possible siege – they are able to just physically overcome these trained men at arms with ease. Ravenna’s army is increasingly shittier and shittier.
Snow White orders a cavalry charge at the gates, while the castle fires some sort of projectile that explodes on impact. They also fire arrows, but not enough to slow down the horses. The archers can see the horses coming from miles away, literally, and yet they only hit four or five of them. Ravenna’s army is monumentally shitty. Even when the army is amassed right in front of the gates, they can’t seem to shoot Snow White’s men. Snow White, for her part, has become a very good fighter if not a good commander. Look at her, blocking an arrow with a shield, and not even flinching under the kinetic force of the shot. Why, just days ago, she couldn’t even use a knife properly! You’ve come a long way, baby.
Chapter 21: 1:46:39 – End
Snow White’s men engage Ravenna’s men inside the castle. Snow White’s forces form a phalanx around her and push their way into the courtyard. Snow White sees Ravenna and breaks away from the combat to pursue her. The Huntsman sees her, and he and William go after her. Snow White makes it to Ravenna’s chambers where Ravenna waits. William, the Huntsman and several of Snow White’s soldiers enter after her.
Ravenna creates a shower of shards that rain down upon the men at arms. Some are killed but most are able to block the shards. The shards land and form themselves into humanoid forms which attack the men. While the men fight the shards, Snow White attacks Ravenna. Ravenna easily overpowers Snow White and forces her to watch the shard monsters kill her men. Snow White tries to fight back in vain, and Ravenna taunts her telling her she can’t be defeated and that she will give the world the queen it deserves.
Ravenna knocks Snow White to the ground and tries to stab her. Snow White blocks it and stabs Ravenna. Three drops of Ravenna’s blood fall onto Snow White’s breastplate. Ravenna grows old and dies.
Snow White is shown being coronated. The land starts to bloom again and the kingdom hails her.
While the Duke was relcutant to attack the castle, he sure seemed to have drilled his men in some tactics. They jump off their horses and into a protective formation around Snow White. Of course, the horses disappear when they do this, but that’s nothing when compared with Snow White’s new found fighting ability. She just physically overcomes, presumably, trained soldiers on her way to Ravenna. Maybe they were instructed by Ravenna to let her pass, or they are the worst fighting men in all of Ravenna’s shitty army. Either way, Ravenna’s men are quickly dispatched as evidenced by no one coming to help her when an armed force barges into her personal chambers.
Ravenna whips up some special effects a spell and proceeds to beat the holy hell out of Snow White. Of course, with her overwhelming, obsessive desire to be forever beautiful and powerful she decides to taunt Snow White rather than kill her right then and there. She even decides to walk in fire and talk trash to Snow White, saying she has lived 20 lives and will give the world the queen it deserves. This makes no sense. How has no one noticed this spectacularly beautiful woman and her idiot brother travelling from kingdom to kingdom for 20 lives and usurping the local rulers?
The scene of Snow White trying to best Ravenna is the only interesting action scene in the entire film, so I have to give credit there. Of course, once Ravenna has tired of physically overpowering Snow White, she somehow fails to notice that Snow White has a knife in her hand. She also tries to cut out Snow White’s heart by stabbing at the side of Snow White’s head. Snow White, who has been tossed about the room by Ravenna like a doll is suddenly able to block Ravenna’s attack, and just as the Huntsman told her, stab Ravenna and look into her eyes. So, there was no spell or anything that Snow White had to do to kill Ravenna. It didn’t take some blood sacrifice and she didn’t need a magic weapon. All she had to do was stab Ravenna. Somehow, after all the stabbings Ravenna has endured over 20 lifetimes, just having Snow White’s hand on the blade was enough. What if Snow White threw the knife? What if Snow White shot an arrow? Would it have worked if Snow White was still unconscious but William placed a sword in her hand then wrapped his hand around it and stabbed her? You see how stupid and anti-climactic this is?
Here’s what I don’t understand. Why was Snow White in such a hurry? She apparently knew all about Ravenna so why not just take your superior numbers and free the people of the kingdom, then wait outside of Ravenna’s castle? Don’t let any supplies in or out (you only have to blockade one road) and by all means don’t let any young women in. Ravenna would grow old and weak, her men would starve and probably surrender, and they could have done this without all the bloodshed.
It’s good to see the clergy has returned to coronate Snow White by the end of the movie. Where were they while the kingdom was being run by a pagan witch queen? The final scene is Snow White on her throne, and proof that Kristen Stewart can’t act even when she has no lines and all she has to do is sit.