Grand revision of old fairy tale

Snow White and the Huntsman Universal Rating: PG 127 minutes

Snow White and the Huntsman is a more visual and entertaining version of the popular Snow White story when compared to Mirror Mirror earlier this year.

The story is not unfamiliar. Snow White (Kirsten Stewart from the Twilight series) is forced to flee the evil queen (Charlize Theron) who killed her father and took over his kingdom. Theron is a particularly nasty villianess, literally sucking the youth and beauty out young women to keep herself young.

Chris Hemsworth plays the stalwart but boozy Huntsman who saves her and helps reclaim her kingdom. In an entertaining use of special effects the seven dwarfs are played by shrunken down full size actors like Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone and Ian McShane, although they don’t appear until well into the film.

Stewart has more star power but Lily Collins (who played Snow White in Mirror Mirror) had better presence as the heroine. However, this is a very different Snow White, as Stewart dons armour and leads the assault on the castle of the unloved but powerful queen.

This version is much more impressive to watch. Besides stirring battle scenes, at one point, in a hommage to the 1937 classic Disney animated version, the filmmakers combine live action and effects to reproduce a virtual fairyland, complete with fairies.

It goes on too long, is occasionally grotesque and uses too many special effects, but this is a visually splendid and mostly enjoyable revision of the old fairy tale.

Rating: four deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.