The Huntsman: Winter’s War | Movie Review

Release date: April 22, 2016 (United Kingdom)
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Film series: The Huntsman film series
Narrated by: Liam Neeson
Box office: 158.7 million USD

I’ve been anticipating this film for a very long time, so I was very excited to watch it – despite the host of negative reviews it has been receiving. And while I can see that this film is not perfect, I really enjoyed my time watching it. Firstly, this film looked absolutely gorgeous and I loved all of the special effects that were used – I am still marveling over the liquid goal. I also loved all of the costumes and settings in general. I also loved how much humour was in this film, especially the banter between all the characters, because it broke up the bleakness of the rest of the film. I do think that the characters could have had a lot more development and the plot could have been a little more interesting, but I really don’t care what the critics say. I had a great old time watching this film for two hours, thanks to Emily Blunt’s stellar performance (and now I have a slight girl crush on Queen Ravenna)

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Betrayed by her evil sister Ravenna – played by Charlize Theron – a heartbroken Freya played by Emily Blunt – retreats to a northern kingdom with her newly discovered powers to raise an army of huntsmen as her protectors. Gifted with the ability to freeze her enemies in ice, Freya teaches her young soldiers to never fall in love. When Eric – Chris Hemsworth – and fellow warrior Sara defy this rule, the angry queen does whatever she can to stop them. As war between the siblings escalates, Eric and Sara unite with Freya to end Ravenna’s wicked reign.

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As far as characters go, my love for Eric skyrocketed in this prequel/sequel that I think is really more of a sequel. Yes, I liked him in the last film but here we got to see more of his charming humour and wit which in my opinion makes him all the more likeable. I was also really happy that we got to see more of his wife Sara, although I do wish that we would have got to see more of her personality as she seemed a little two-sided to me. However, she was very determined and strong-willed and did not let anyone stop her from getting what she wanted, which I love to see in a character. A very unexpected surprise came in the form of the dwarves Nion, Gryff, Bromywn and Doreena played by Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith and Alexandra Roach respectively. The dwarves, aside from Eric himself, were the main source of laughter throughout the film and I absolutely adored their banter and their friendly arguments. Their characters were so full of life and spirit that they really lifted the mood of the whole film. I also adored the character of Freya – partially because of Emily Blunt’s amazing performance – but also because she was one of the most relatable and realistic of the characters and because you could really understand all of her motivations.

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The plot of the film was pretty generic – setting off on a perilous quest to retrieve an object from the villain in order to defeat them. And while the flashback/montage at the beginning of the film got us up to speed about when this film would be taking place in the grand scheme of things, I thought it was actually a bit boring and dragged and didn’t make much sense. However, I really liked basically any scene where Eric or Sara got to show off their killer fighting skills. There was also a fair bit of romance in this film, which I enjoyed, because not only am I a hopeless romantic but it again picked up the mood of the film – endless scenes of snow and mountains begin to have a certain effect on you. Another thing that slightly annoyed me was Sara’s very broad accent – I just don’t think it was necessary.

Despite what all of the critics are saying, I really enjoyed this film and had a grand old time watching it. It was funny and entertaining – and somewhat steamy in places – and very engaging as well.

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