Now usually I am not a fan of people talking during movies. Shut the hell up or get the hell out has always been my attitude toward the whole thing. And in general this is still my attitude, but when my wife and I were forced to listen to the inane conversations of a twentysomething couple seated just in front of us - he having to explain the story of Snow White to his date as if she had just appeared on this planet with absolutely no pop culture reference in hand - we both realized that the stupidity of the girl and the seeming frustration of the guy were much more interesting that anything that happened to be happening up on the screen. Obviously this does not bode well for the movie we were there to see, Snow White and the Huntsman.
Now when that other Snow White tale came out earlier this year, the candy-coloured Julia Roberts vehicle Mirror Mirror, I had said in my review of that film, that I was looking forward to this darker looking, possibly more accurately told fairy tale of yore. When all is said and done though, both films end up as pretty much equal disappointments. Sure this one is a darker film, and many of the visuals are given a more potentially dangerous vibe, and Chris "The Mighty Thor" Hemsworth does a much better, and much more desirable hero boy toy than Armie "The Winklevii" Hammer, and the dwarfs seem less like a circus tumbling act here (though we won't even go into the lawsuits pending over using full size actors shrunk down with CGI), but it is not necessarily any better than the more light-hearted Mirror Mirror. Both are failures in separate ways - one acts too cutsie-for-cutsie's-sake, the other pretending to be something it is not - but both are most definitely failures in their own unique ways.
Perhaps the failure here is due to the lack of charisma put off by Kristen Stewart and just about any actor she is playing opposite. Perhaps it is the PG-13 attitude of the studio to make it teen friendly and not go as dark as they coulda woulda shoulda - hence the aforementioned pretending to be something it is not statement. Perhaps it is the Twilightrification of the whole thing, setting it up for an improbable sequel aimed, as this one was, at all those Bella Swan fans out there - whoever the hell they may be. Perhaps it is just, plain and simple, a mediocre film from a mediocre writer/director, with a mediocre cast (Hemsworth and evil queen Charlize Theron are both good but never get the chance to showcase it here) done in a very mediocre way. The strange thing when one compares Mirror Mirror and this film (and this is an inevitable thing to do) is that even though the earlier film is much more confectionery, it may actually be a sharper, wittier, and oddly enough, a bit scarier work than this. In the end though, neither one is really worth watching when so many better films are out there awaiting our arrival.