In what could possibly be the best evil queen ever on film, Queen Ravena (Charlize Theron) encapsulates all the things men fear in women -- she’s manipulative, she’s clever, she’s magic, and her beauty is so great, that no man could refuse her request, no matter how corrupt it might be. Ravena was empowered with a malevolent type of dark art that comes with a ghost army and a mirror that keeps tabs on who’s the fairest in the land.
After murdering her King, Ravena throws his young daughter Snow White (Kristen Stewart) into a tower to basically let her rot. The maiden is forgotten about until she reaches a nubile age and the mirror, who takes a human form in molten gold, reveals Snow White is now fairer than she. Watch out!
This is of course unacceptable to the queen, whose power is only as strong as her beauty. The mirror instructs her to eat Snow White’s heart -- literally, chew and swallow, which Ravena has every intention of doing. She orders her non-magical brother to retrieve the young woman, but lionhearted as Snow White is, she manages to escape.
But Snow White doesn’t get too far. If there is a hell, it would be the Dark Forest in this movie. Creepy, eerie, and alive with rot, this isn’t a place a girl who’s been locked in a tower for half her life should be. But Snow White has an iron will and is determined to survive.
Meanwhile, Queen Ravena has employed -- or bribed with a lie -- the hunky Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), whose specialty is hunting in this wicked forest of doom. He finds Snow White and manages to evade the Queen’s brother and his posse. With the help of eight dwarves (yes eight, but don’t worry, they get down to seven), they make their way to an enchanted forest complete with fairies, magical mushrooms with googly eyes, and a majestic white stag with antlers so broad, they nearly make up their own forest.
Sparing us a dopey love story, Snow White and the Huntsman is at its best with wildly smart action sequences, including the Huntsman teaching Snow White how to fight. This is a good thing, because Snow White must go against the Queen and her dark magic in order to reclaim the Queendom that is rightfully hers.
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