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'The Huntsman,' a 'Snow White' prequel, stars a pricey cast

Imagination seems to have been frozen out of this attempt to capitalize on the success of 'Snow White and the Huntsman.'

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    Cast members Chris Hemsworth and Emily Blunt pose during the premiere of the film 'The Huntsman: Winter's War' in Los Angeles.
    Kevork Djansezian
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Aside from the lucre to be made, there was no pressing reason for Hollywood to make a prequel (or is it a sequel?) to “Snow White and the Huntsman.” But lucre ever rules in La-La Land, and so we have “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” with a pricey cast including Chris Hensworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain. (Missing in action is Kristen Stewart’s Snow White. Go figure.)

Theron’s murderous Ravenna, it turns out, has a sister, Blunt’s Freya, who possesses a Fantastic Four-style power that can turn anybody or anything into ice. She is, literally, an ice queen. Hemsworth and Chastain play the grown-up version of two of Freya’s abducted child soldiers. Theirs is supposed to be a love story of sorts, though they come across more like ninjas than romancers; in any case, the two stars don’t strike many sparks. (Too bad – a few sparks could melt all that ice a lot quicker.)

To be memorable, fairy tale extravangazas require outsize imaginations or else they just sit on the screen, as does this film, directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, which is a welter of computer effects and thudding action. May there be no more sequels, prequels, or remakes.

Recommended: The 50 best movies of all time

(C-)  

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