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.