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Movie Review

The Huntsman: Winter's War also known as “Snow White and the Huntsman 2,” “The Huntsman and the Ice Queen,” “The Snow White Chronicles - The Huntsman: Winter's War,” “Le Chasseur et la Reine des Glaces,” “El Cazador y la Reina del Hielo,” “El cazador y la reina del hielo,” “O Caçador e a Rainha do Gelo,” “A Vadász és a Jégkirálynő,” “Il cacciatore e la regina di ghiaccio,” “Lovac i ledena kraljica,” “Mednieks Un Ledus Karaliene,” “Medziotojas ir Ledo karaliene,” “Snehurka a lovec 2,” “Pamuk Prenses ve Avci 2”

MPAA Rating: PG-13for fantasy action violence and some sensuality.

Reviewed by: Gabriel Mohler
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action Adventure Fantasy
Length:
1 hr. 54 min.
Year of Release:
2016
USA Release:
April 22, 2016 (wide—3791 theaters)
DVD: August 23, 2016
Copyright, Universal Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

suffering a heartbreaking betrayal

hardening one’s heart to love / claiming that love is a lie

How should we handle personal loss?

sibling rivalry


wickedness / evil / sin

fantasy magic / magic and magicians in the Bible

enchantments

witchcraft and witches in the Bible


ice and snow in the Bible

Featuring: Chris HemsworthThe Huntsman
Jessica ChastainSara
Charlize TheronRavenna
Emily BluntFreya
Nick FrostNion
Sam Claflin … William
Ralph Ineson … Bar Keeper
Colin Morgan … Duke of Blackwood
Sophie Cookson … Pippa
Sheridan Smith … Mrs. Bromwyn
more »
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan—“Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012), “The Ring” (2002)
Producer: Joe Roth
Roth Films
Universal Pictures
Distributor: Universal Pictures

Prequel/Sequel: “Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012)

This prequel/sequel to the PG-13 take on Snow White did not disappoint. In some ways it is better than “Snow White…,” in some ways it isn’t as good, but it evens out for the most part, and I think this one may even be a little bit better. Of course, the first one is no masterpiece, but it is still moral, well-made, and entertaining. I found “Winter’s War” to be a bit slower, but it also has more depth. The casting choices couldn’t have been better, bringing Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain into the series.

The plot is so simple, yet so complex at the same time. It shows us the origin of the Huntsman, incorporates the Snow Queen into the story, and lays out many clever twists as the huntsman and his would-be love set out on a quest to find the magic mirror. This film has MUCH more character development than the first. There is also more time spent on things like relationship conflict and worldview than stunning visuals.

It’s also less intense than the first film. The first had scenes of creepy, twisted forests and big, ugly monsters; whereas much of the peril in the second comes from Freya’s ice powers. The violence in “Winter’s War” is milder, too, with very little blood. Still, there are some thrilling fantasy moments, two skeletons found in the forest, and adrenaline-pumping fight scenes.

The is more language and sexual content than in the first, but that’s not saying much. Most of the off-color language is British (“b*gger,” “b*llocks,” “w*nker”), but there is one b-word, “a**,” “p*ss off,” “hell” (2), and a misuse of God’s name.

Sexual immorality is either ambiguous or frowned upon. When we find out that Freya (Emily Blunt) had a child outside of wedlock, the narrator specifically says that she was loveblind. It proves to be even more of a mistake when she is betrayed—a good reminder that sin will always betray us, no matter how pleasant it may seem. After this, Freya becomes opposed to all forms of love, and the story shows us how she learns to love the right way. This makes for a very thought-provoking conflict. Warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain) and the Hunstman (Chris Hemsworth) share a few brief moments of under-clothed sensuality, but sex doesn’t seem to be implied, at least to me. It would have been difficult for them to do it in the settings they were in.

Like the first film, this isn’t amazing. But I found it satisfying. The inappropriate moments are brief and few, the positive messages are strong, and clear lines are drawn between good and evil. The protagonists, though lacking discretion in certain areas, turn out to be commendable people. In short, it’s everything a fairy tale should be. How much you liked the first one should probably determine whether you see this in theaters or wait for the DVD.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—Thank you Hollywood for getting it right about upright men! (I’ll get to that in a minute) Anyone can plainly see that there is sorcery in this movie… but, if you watch it the whole way through, you discover that it is never valued as something beneficial. Rather, just the opposite… the use of sorcery is an aspect which magnifies the concept of control over others, because it can never be used to achieve self-control. Magic, in this movie, is malevolent and demonic for this very reason, even if the source of it is never blatantly stated as coming from Satan, this can easily be inferred from the power-grabbing aspect that it illustrates through CG effects.

Love, on the other hand, is that ancient power, far greater than magic, that can never be defeated. In a certain respect, it is a magic of a completely different kind that is incomprehensible to the darkness and controlling magic practiced by demons. The dynamic of characters in this movie reminded me strongly of how Aslan and the inhabitants of Narnia is depicted when fighting against the white witch, and the lead witch in this film (or Snow White’s step-mother) reminded me very much of Queen Jadis in C.S. Lewis” the Magician’s Nephew.

Now to the explanation of my first statement above. Eric the huntsman, played by Chris Hemsworth, did remind me, to a degree, of Aslan, who would never, ever, ever give up on someone, even though they had betrayed him (watch the entire movie and you’ll see what I mean). Why can’t Hollywood make more films where men are depicted as virtuous and kind, instead of shallow? This movie did just that. Yet, it didn’t stop at showing the light side to men, but gave due treatment to the love, respect and faithfulness that all women truly desire and need in a man. This was depicted in the relationship between Eric and Sara. If any of you are virtuous men and happened to watch Malevolent with your stomach churning, thinking: “Why would a man act so deplorably towards his love?” this movie will give you just the opposite feeling!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Luke, age 33 (USA)
Positive—CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS. This intriguing prequel to “Snow White And The Huntsman” is a real treat for those of you who liked the first film, as it seamlessly morphs into a sequel almost thirty minutes in. Shame that Kristen Stewart decided not to return, as Snow White is referenced throughout the film. She could at least have filmed a brief cameo at the middle and end of the movie. The story was very well written, and the acting was top-notch. One complaint I have, though, is, like the first movie, there are scenes in the trailer that did not appear in either the theatrical version or the Extended Cut of the film. That is always annoying, but I digress.

Biblically speaking, there is fantasy-action violence, but it is barely graphic. There are two scenes of implied sexuality, but the first one is more discreet than the second one, which while eschewing nudity, still shows a lot. There is some mild language, but nothing above a PG level.

If you like “Maleficent,” “Snow White and the Huntsman” or any fantasy themed film, you will enjoy “The Huntsman: Winter’s War.” There are two versions of the film: the theatrical release and the Extended Cut, which adds a few more minutes. As to which version is better, that is entirely your own opinion, but I recommend the Extended Cut for a very brief scene late in the film that pays off a scene earlier in the picture.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—D, age 30 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—…I liked this better than the first, probably because Kristen Stewart was in the first one and it was a bit darker and depressing. Though if they were going to bring up new characters, they should have mentioned in the first film that Ravenna had another sibling (snow queen) and not just her pervert creepy brother. It’s like all of the sudden there’s another life story of Ravenna and Eric the huntsman they failed to mention in the first movie.

I liked the plot story of this 2nd movie of the Snow Queen and how it all happened. For the sexual content, however that’s another story. Of course, you see Eric and his love Sara making out in the hot springs bath outside (nude), there was nothing really shown, but you can tell they were wearing nothing, it was annoying hearing the sloppy kissing and the water splashing around. The 2nd love making scene is when she is in an emotional wreck, and he comforts her, which led to making out and which led to… you know.

Her partial nudity of chest was showing after undressing, not all was shown but there was a lot of skin of both her and Eric. I’m not surprised that Hollywood has to have nudity and cleavage in every movie they create. It’s sad how so many actors are used as objects to show of the body to make the cut for the movie. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and should be respected and not objectified for fame and popularity.

Sex is holy gift from God to wife/husband to bring life into the world, not to display in public and for one’s pleasure. Every movie that happens to come on TV or a movie trailer is trashed by trying to sexualize/porn and pervert everything. I liked the movie but I’m getting pretty sick of seeing Ravena everywhere and would’ve been better if they didn’t have nudity of the characters. Love does conquer all, and that was a good image, to die and sacrifice for whom you love and willing to die for a beautiful selfless purpose. I loved the song, at the end, which was super catchy. Not bad as I thought, at first, of the movie, probably because I didn’t like the first one.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Annabell, age 23 (USA)
Response from reviewer—…The words “nudity” and “love-making” were out of place. No sex was shown. Other than this, I agree with what the commenter said; the sloppy making out was annoying, and there was too much bare skin. But I fail to see how I wasn’t thorough. What else would I have meant by “under-clothed sensuality?” And rating the sex/nudity “Moderate?” I didn’t feel the need to describe every detail of the context. I also said that I felt most of the sexual content (when not frowned upon) was left ambiguous. Well, this is one viewer who interpreted it negatively. She has every right to have that opinion, and I respect it. I’m glad ChristianAnswers has opened a comments section so the general public can express their opinions, whether I agree with them or not. The purpose of the site is to help readers make good choices, and I’m sure seeing differing opinions is helpful—a feature that most review Websites don’t have.
Gabriel Mohler, age 26 (USA)
Neutral—Yes, there are some demonic looking scenes in this movie, especially near the end, with the lead women who seemed more like witches with their magical demonic like powers. Unfortunately, every single fairy tale has some type of sorcery and witchcraft type stuff in it, it’s just getting more graphically displayed with technology. The movie was interesting, and it wasn’t horrible, there are much worse. It was endearing to see the romance between the two, yet they did show way too many make out scenes we just fast forwarded by. It was a lesson though how caught up in the past the one woman was and that was controlling her life and consuming her and making her do things to hurt other people because of her past and not letting go.

It was an extreme example of how we need to move on from those things, although her not having Christ, much harder to even fathom forgiveness. I didn’t hate the movie. I walked out of one at the theater after 10 minutes, this was not one of those films. It was well made for its genre. It was frustrating how half of the time you couldn’t understand the main actor’s accent but overall it was better then I expected it to be.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Stephanie, age 41 (USA)
Movie Critics

…The sheer abundance of on-screen ornamentation isn’t quite enough to make “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” a beautiful film… The added star power of Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt isn’t enough to enliven this dour prequel-cum-sequel…
—Guy Lodge, Variety

…pretty hokey… Sure it’s silly, but in a good way!… plenty entertaining and, in fits and starts, even charming…
—Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

…sumptuous-but-ultimately-hollow fairy tale campfest… there’s nothing dramatically interesting or original beneath all of the spectacle… [C+]
—Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

…Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain flail in a “fairy-tale fail”… It’s a jumbled exposition that never finds its emotional or structural center. …
—Mara Reinstein, US Weekly

…Messy, violent Snow White sequel wastes its great actors. …
—Common Sense Media

…a disjointed plot that feels like someone threw bits of “Game of Thrones,” Disney’s “Frozen,” “Lord of the Rings” and “The Wizard of Oz” into a blender with some crushed ice, black goo and gold flecks, then set it to puree. …quite a bit of an all-around muddled mess…
—Neil Pond, Parade

…Visual inventiveness and spectacular casting can’t quite salvage a muddled fantasy epic that, if it were a magic mirror, would be held together with gaffer tape. …
—Jimi Famurewa,·Empire

…Even their doubled-up diva-tude, however, can't ignite a rhythmically flat, seemingly committee-helmed franchise outing that never decides on its dramatic center. …
—Guy Lodge, Variety

…Despite a fine performance from Emily Blunt, the follow-up to Snow White and the Huntsman offers cold comfort. …
—Jonathan Romney,·The Guardian [UK]

…dunderheaded …Theron hams it up mightily… Leave “Huntsman: Winter’s War” out in the cold… [½/4]
—Brian Truitt, USA Today

Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I have not seen this movie, but I have seen the trailers… I’m a film buff and an unpaid movie critic, I’m a good judge of character when it comes to movies, and when I watched the trailers for this film it looked completely demonic, that is all I wanted to say, there’s no way I’m going to watch this movie…
—Nadine, age 32 (United Kingdom)

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