The Huntsman - Winter's War: "Love Does Not Make You Weak, It's All That Ever Gave You Strength"

Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Writer:    Evan Spiliotopoulos
                Craig Mazin
Starring: Chris Hemsworth
                Jessica Chastain
                Charlize Theron
                Emily Blunt
                Nick Frost
                Rob Brydon
                Sheridan Smith
                Alexandra Roach
                Sam Claflin
                Liam Neeson
Rating:    **

Release Date: Out Now

The moment movie fans have been waiting for since Snow White and the Huntsman back in 2012 has finally arrived. The prequel that everyone wanted, following a movie that everyone loved, once again starring Charlize Theron. Only problem is; no one wanted this film, nor did they like it's predecessor; the advertising wants you to think it's an origin story for the Huntsman, and it's really not; and Charlize Theron appears for maybe 20 minutes in a 2 hour movie, so not really a starring role.

Nick Frost, Chris Hemsworth
& Rob Brydon
The first 20 minutes is where you get the prequel too Snow White, Ravenna and her sister Freya (Theron & Blunt) are rivals, in a jealous rage Ravenna does something so evil, it changes Freya forever and she becomes an icy enchantress. Freya then builds an army of 'Huntsman', who spend their lives training for Freya. The huntsman Brighton (Hemsworth) is one of Freya's trainees, and he meets and falls in love with Sara (Chastain) which is forbidden in the kingdom. They are separated, then the Snow White film with Kristen Stewart happens, and then the rest of this film takes pace.

Brighton is ordered by Snow White (the back of her anyway) to bring her mirror back from whoever took it. On the way he joins up with his old dwarf friend Nion (Frost) as well as new dwarf and she-dwarves Gryff, Bromwyn & Doreena (Brydon, Smith & Roach). Together they travel to retrieve the mirror, on the way bumping in to Brighton's old flame Sara, and after an almighty battle between Freya and Ravenna, peace is restored and hopefully these characters are never to be explored again.

Sheridan Smith
The cast in this film is spectacular, you have Oscar winners and nominees, BAFTA winners, talented comedians and Thor; yet not one actor is pushed, challenged or given a chance to really show what they're capable of. Sure Blunt and Theron get to ham it up as the sister witches, but they are so underused within the film, that it feels like they're just trying to do as much as they can in as little time as they can. Sheridan Smith manages to steel all of her scenes, playing the comedy perfectly, but again she and the 3 other dwarves aren't used to their fullest potential.

I understand the film is about Hemsworth's Huntsman and his lady love Chastain, but neither character is compelling or interesting. They try so hard to create this bad-ass, 'I don't need a man', character in Sara that she ends up being a one dimensional heroine who still ends up falling for the dreamy man with the big arms. Chastain was the star of Zero Dark Thirty, she doesn't need to lower herself to this.

The film has pops of goodness, but they are fleeting and don't make the 2 hour run time worth it. The cast try their hardest to bring this tale to life, but with an unimaginative script and uninspired directing, The Huntsman: Winter's War falls harder than Kristen Stewart's smile in Snow White.

The Huntsman: Wwnter's War - Trailer