Don’t get me wrong, it’s by no means a better movie. And it’s not a good adaptation either, Hans Christian Anderson would probably still revolve in his grave. But contrary to Frozen, it surprisingly does get the key plot point of the story right: the Snow Queen kidnapping children and trying to freeze their emotions out of them. So... Points for that?
Even though, of course, they couldn’t totally ignore the fact that the inclusion of the Ice Queen was the most shameless Frozen rip-off imaginable, so - in the end
Elsa Freya of course was redeemed and turned good again.... They even tried the sisterly hug thing from Frozen. Which.... You know, I was afraid would actually work, but thank goodness didn’t. You’re not gonna defeat evil Charlize Theron with love, bitch! (I liked that. That was... a very nasty little kick at the Frozen narrative, as much as liked that, too.)
Also - points for having more Charlize Theron than I expected. When I realized that both the trailers and the opening narration had lied to me and this is, in fact, not a prequel (at least for most of its running time) but a regular old sequel, I was afraid the fact that Theron died in the first one could seriously hinder her from showing up. It did - for a while, but then she was back and was glorious. :) Because let’s be honest, Theron chewing the scenery like she hadn’t eaten anything since Monster was by far the best thing about that Snow White version. And it was, unsurprisingly the best part of this one, too.
And the scenery she ate looked cool, too. The second best thing about the first one clearly was the production- and costume design, and Huntsman lives up to that. Despite lacking anything as batshit insane as Theron’s dress made of dead birds from the first one (one of my favourite movie dresses of all times... I kinda hope Drillpress includes this in his fashion articles... :) ), this film was really cool to look at most of the time.
And that was about it. The rest of the actors remain pale... especially Emily Blunt. Whom I like, but who remained a blank slate next to Theron. Probably because she wasn’t allowed to go all out in order to be able to be saved by love in the end. (I must say Elsa in her prime was more intimidating than Blunt). Guess it wasn’t all Kristen Stewart’s fault that Snow White looked dull....
The script was - bad. Really bad. The dialogues and romances stilted, the voice over narration annoying, the attempts to avoid explaining Snow White’s absence in this sequel to her own movie clumsy. Jessica Chastain and honestly Chris Hemsworth, too, phoned it in, and of course being absent from too big a part of the movie, Theron hamming it up couldn’t save it as much as she saved Snow White.
If you liked the that one - maybe for the same reasons I did - you’ll probably like this one too. Maybe not as much. Probably not enough to pay for a ticket, but it’s not a waste if you netflix it, then.