Review: ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ A Deplorable Sequel

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (in theaters this weekend) reminds me of the video for the song “Why” by Annie Lennox. Both are visually appealing as well as  extremely aggravating.

The Huntsman: Winter's War

This film is both a sequel and a prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, beginning before Snow White destroyed Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and continued after Snow White’s victory. If anyone is perplexed as to why this film was even made to begin with, Snow White And The Huntsman brought in 396.6 million worldwide (Don’t worry I was shocked as well). So why cut out Snow White from the sequel? Well, Kristen Stewart was discovered having an affair with the film’s director Rupert Sanders and the beefy Chris Hemsworth is more than capable of carrying a film. So goodbye Snow White and hello Sara (played by Jessica Chastain) and Freya (played by Emily Blunt).


The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a story developed by Evan Daugherty. To date, his biggest credits have been writing Divergent, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Snow White And The Huntsman. So it came as no surprise to me when the film was chock full of laughable dialogue and formulaic plots (just look at his body of work). His attempts at originality are nothing more than direct imitations from films such as Brave, Frozen, and Marvel’s Thor (at least we know what movies he must have recently watched).

Cedric Nicholas-Troyan (who sounds like a character in Game Of Thrones) takes over the director’s chair from Rupert Sanders and doesn’t learn from the mistakes of his predecessor. Instead of concentrating his efforts on developing a stronger plot, he opts to add more glitz and eye-popping visuals to the film. This movie may look great, but even dog poop can look presentable in the right light.

As for the plot, it begins by telling the story of Queen Ravenna’s (Charlize Theron who seems to be in this film just for the paycheck) and her rise to power. We learn of her sister Freya, who after experiencing tragedy in her life, now has Elsa-like powers from Frozen (Hence the title Winter’s War). Freya is hating life so she decides that if she can’t be happy, then no-one can. She decides that they will conquer all of these towns and kingdoms and kidnap the children so that she can groom them into her Huntsmen. Fast forward a few years and now we see what looks and sounds like Merida from Brave (she’s even good with a bow and arrow) but in reality it’s just Jessica Chastain running through the motions as Sara, the lone female Huntsman. She immediately catches the eye of a dashing of Eric (Hemsworth), and they are immediately drawn to another. Fast forward a bit more and long story short, Freya wants her sister’s magic mirror from the first movie so that she can be invisible. Of course, Eric and Sara have other plans for that mirror.

This film is littered with CGI creatures that appear to be goblins but look like a roided up Jar Jar Binks after he experienced third-degree burns. Nick Frost and Rob Brydon return as Eric’s dwarf sidekick but truthfully they seemed in the way for most of the movie.

It’s extremely aggravating that we have to endure these types of films. There’s truthfully no real reason for this film to have ever been made to start with, let alone released to the general public. The Huntsman: Winter’s War fails on every level. The story is ridiculous. The actors seem to be just going through the motions on screen. Visually, this film is okay, but not let me pay to see this in the theaters okay. Our only hope is that the general public gets with the program and fails to support the abomination in filmmaking so that we don’t have to sit through another one of these films.

Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.