VUE REVIEWS: The Huntsman: Winter's War

Director Cedric Nicolas-Troya has delivered a visually striking film, filled with some captivating scenes and accessible characters.

By Luke Walkley, reviewing from Vue Cwmbran

Once upon a time, there was a prequel that in fact turned out to be a sequel… Seven years after we saw the downfall of Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) in Snow White and the Huntsman, Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) is tasked with ensuring the Magic Mirror doesn’t fall into the hands of Ravenna’s equally evil sister, the Ice Queen, Freya (Emily Blunt). Covering the loss of Kristen Stewart is the inclusion of Jessica Chastain as Sarah, who, like Eric, was taken from her family as a child and trained to be a Huntsman by Ice Queen Freya.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War instantly feels more immersive than Snow White and the Huntsman. The fairy-tale world in which the film takes place is lovingly crafted; from the expansive kingdoms and their deep, dark forests to the beautifully designed costumes and fantastical creatures, it’s easy to swept up in a dreamlike state.

We’re treated to a mix of action and comedy, the latter emerging through the hilarious quartet of dwarves, played by Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith and Alexandra Roach. Hemsworth and Chastain enjoy an on-screen chemistry that shines in both the well-choreographed fight scenes and the more emotional moments that they share.
Huntsman Winters War
Director Cedric Nicolas-Troya has delivered a visually striking film, filled with some captivating scenes and accessible characters. But incredible production values and strong acting aside, The Huntsman: Winter’s War appears to suffer from a lack of identity: is it a prequel, a sequel, or a spinoff to the original? The film feels a little disjointed as it tries to make sense of an overly complicated timeline. It sits somewhere between a live-action version of Frozen and a toned-down episode of Game of Thrones, never really deciding on its primary target audience.
Huntsman Winters War
There is potential for The Huntsman: Winter’s War to act as a platform for a wider universe of films. The fairy-tale genre has seen a shift towards more adult themes in recent years and, if the plot were simplified, the striking visuals and strong cast would certainly keep audiences coming back.

VERDICT: It may not be the fairest of them all but The Huntsman: Winter’s War is certainly an visually spectacular viewing experience.

You’ll love this film if you enjoyed Maleficent or the TV series Once Upon A Time.

See this film with your partner or older members of the family. Don’t take kids under ten unless you deliberately want to incite nightmares.

Meet up with friends before the film at 
Tiffins, an Indian buffet restaurant right next door to Vue Cwmbran. Tasty food and great value.

Wind down after the film with a cocktail or three at Frankie & Jerry’s, a hop, skip and jump from Vue Cwmbran.

Get in the spirit of the film by scaring yourself silly in Cwmbran’s many Huntsman-esque woods and forests. Be careful to watch out for the Goblins and the large ‘cats’ which have been spotted in the area in recent years but remain to be caught!

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