Fairy tales are often dark, but “Snow White and the Huntsman” overdoes it. Director Rupert Sanders turns the Snow White legend into an excuse for lots of muscular action and creepy-crawly histrionics.
Charlize Theron is the sinister temptress queen Ravenna, whose nemesis, Kristen Stewart’s Snow White, the murdered king’s daughter, is her chief rival in the fairest-one-of-all smackdown. Chris Hemsworth plays the huntsman who leads Snow White through the Dark Forest to Sanctuary, which is full of sprites, dwarfs (amusingly played by, among others, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones and Eddie Marsan), enchanted cobwebs and all sort of other thingies that look as if they were trucked in from a “Narnia” movie.
Some of the fairy tale effects are marvelous; but the odyssey from darkness to light is unduly long and sloggy, and Stewart, with her contemporary edge, seems to be acting in the wrong era. Grade: C+ (Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality.)