I hope the sequel lives up to the potential of the first. There was a wonderful glimpse at the larger world (both in the Dark Forset and Sanctuary) but the film really didn't deliver on it.
It was decent enough but felt three times longer than it really was. All the while I was watching it, I kept thinking how much better and far more coherent it would be as a TV series. In fact, given the episodic nature of the film, it felt as if someone had taken bits and pieces from different episodes of a TV series and cut it all toegether to make a truncated movie version.
I will say that, when the horrid use of shakey cam wasn't getting in the way, the film was visually stunning. My favourite sequence was in Sanctuary since it was all pretty much a live action version of the forest in Mononoke Hime
. However, all that (and even the troll bridge sequence) felt pointless since none of those fantasy creatures, aside from the dwarves, ever joined in the fight against Ravena. Huge missed opportunity right there.
Other than not really getting what happened in the end
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
(is Snow White now in love with the Hunstman or...?),
why was there Christianity in this fantasy universe? I kept expecting Jesus or Aslan to pop up at any moment.
After some searching on Google, it seems the Hunstman was origiinally intended to be older and soley a mentor to Snow White (though she was to have an unrequited crush on him). When they cast Hemsworth in the role, they chose to make him the love interest but never bothered to write out William.
"In my original draft another slight difference was the idea that the huntsman was primarily a mentor figure with some hints of an unrequited love relationship with Snow White. As an example, like the original pitch I would give for this movie back in the old days when I first wrote it was. “It’s Snow White meets Luc Besson’s The Professional” where it’s like the huntsman is like the Jean Reno hitman character teaching Snow White to be this strong warrior and fighter.
"So he was much more of a mentor in the original and the process of the script evolving and then the casting, they started thinking about older casting for the huntsman character, like Viggo Mortenson, Johnny Depp, guys like that, which would have been more that mentor figure.
"But when Chris Hemsworth became available and it was right after Thor and he was so good in Thor. I thought Thor was really over the top and crazy, but really fun and I thought he was really good in it. There was no way you could cast Chris Hemsworth and not turn up the volume on the love story between the huntsman and Snow White.
"So now it’s much more of a 50/50 between huntsman as a mentor and huntsman as a potential love interest and that was a big change, which to be honest I was a little resistant too, but knowing a huge portion of movie goers go to see… I mean it’s just a classic element of any story, a compelling romance or a compelling love story or the hint of a compelling love story. I have since been won over by that, but I was a little resistant to that at first."
Although a badass fighter, William needed to be nixed, honestly, if they wanted to amp up the half baked romance between the Hunstman and Snow White. Or have her simply choose the Hunstman. After all, William was holding a torch for the girl he knew over a decade ago. I don't buy that "she hasn't changed at all" as he stated to the Hunstman.
This is not to say that I hated the film. It's more that I was let down. I will go see a sequel in hopes that it lives up to the potential held by the first.
One final thing that I thought I should mention (as I notice people bringing this up). Yes, Stewart is nowhere near as attractive as Theron but, muddled as it may have been, that was the point. Early in the film, Snow White's mother states that her true beauty comes from her heart rather than her looks. Ravenna, on the other hand, is all about looks. It's a whole inner beauty versus outer beauty theme.