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The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 22 April 2016 (USA)
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Eric and fellow warrior Sara, raised as members of ice Queen Freya's army, try to conceal their forbidden love as they fight to survive the wicked intentions of both Freya and her sister Ravenna.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Hemsworth ... The Huntsman / Eric
Charlize Theron ... Ravenna
Jessica Chastain ... Sara
Emily Blunt ... Queen Freya
Nick Frost ... Nion
Rob Brydon ... Gryff
Sheridan Smith ... Mrs. Bromwyn
Alexandra Roach ... Doreena
Sope Dirisu ... Tull
Sam Hazeldine ... Leifr
Sam Claflin ... William
Sophie Cookson ... Pippa
Conrad Khan ... Young Eric
Niamh Walter ... Young Sara
Nana Agyeman-Bediako Nana Agyeman-Bediako ... Young Tull
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Storyline

Evil sorceress Queen Ravenna's powers allow her to know that her younger sister Freya, whose powers have not yet emerged, is not only involved in an illicit affair with an already elsewhere engaged nobleman Andrew, but is also pregnant with his child. Sometime after Freya gives birth to a baby girl, Freya discovers that Andrew not only reneged on his promise of elopement with her but also murdered their child. In a grief-fueled rage, her broken heart freezes over and she kills him with her sudden emergence of powers - the elemental control of ice..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story before Snow White See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | China

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Snow White and the Huntsman 2 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,445,035, 24 April 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$48,390,190

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$165,536,477
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Cut)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The runic inscription briefly seen on the mirror in the first trailer reads, "I see," while the glimpse seen in the second trailer reads, "...is power." See more »

Goofs

In the first film, Ravenna's brother, Finn (played by Sam Spruell) taunts Eric (played by Chris Hemsworth) about his wife's death. He implies that he is the one who attacked and killed Sara while Eric was away (off to war). In this film, however, as Freya's trick, Sara is shown to be killed by a fellow huntsman before Eric's eyes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: What does the mirror show you? What do you see? An oft told tale. That of Snow White, how she vanquished the evil Queen Ravenna and took her rightful place on the throne. But there is another story, one you have not yet seen. One that comes long before "happily ever after."
See more »

Crazy Credits

The world in the Universal logo turns to gold and morphs into a mirror. See more »

Alternate Versions

In Singapore, the film was edited for a PG13 rating. The distributor chose to remove the sex scene between Sara and the Huntsman. The uncut version was classified NC16. See more »


Soundtracks

Castle (The Huntsman: Winter's War Version)
Written by Halsey (as Ashley Frangipane) and Lido (as Peder Losnegård)
Performed by Halsey
Orchestral Arrangements by James Newton Howard
Courtesy of Astralwerks
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
As visually sumptuous as it is, this prequel-slash-sequel is no more than a half-baked mishmash of vastly superior fairy-tales/ fantasy adventuresis
14 April 2016 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

Neither Snow White nor Kristen Stewart from the earlier 'Snow White and the Huntsman' return for this follow-up, though it is anyone's guess whether their exclusion is due to the actress being too expensive for this decidedly lower-budget instalment or because of her relationship-ending fling with the first film's married director Rupert Sanders. In her character's place, it is perhaps only natural and inevitable that Chris Hemsworth's axe-wielding hero Eric would be elevated to lead status, in order to form the narrative glue between the events of that 2012 original and this latest – and if you're wondering about Charlize Theron's evil queen Ravenna, let's just say that she plays at best a supporting role that is much less significant than the promotional materials have made her out to be.

Rather than choose between a prequel and a sequel, French director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and his writers Evan Spiliotopoulos and Craig Mazin have decided to make their live-action fairytale a bit of both, resulting in a time jump that will leave those unfamiliar with the earlier film more than a little confused. With no small measure of help from narrator Liam Neeson, we are introduced to Ravenna's younger sister Freya (Emily Blunt), a romantic-at-heart who turns into a bitter icy-hearted villainess following the death of her child at the presumed hands of her lover cum daughter's father. It is perhaps no coincidence given 'Frozen's' box-office success that Freya develops icy-related powers in her post-traumatic process, transforming into the Ice Queen who goes about establishing her kingdom of ruthless killers by kidnapping kids and training them to be warriors she calls huntsmen.

Two of her best warriors happen to be Eric (played in his teenage years by Conrad Khan) and the flame-haired Sara (Niamh Walter; then Jessica Chastain), who defy Freya's commandment not to love by doing just that with each other. When she finds out that Eric and Sara have secretly gotten married and intend to leave her kingdom, Freya separates them with a wall of enchanted ice that leaves Eric thinking that Sara has been killed by a fellow huntsman and Sara thinking that Eric has left her there to die. The plot then fast- forwards seven years to after Snow White's defeat of Ravenna in part one, where Sam Claflin's handsome prince makes a brief return to implore Eric to track down and destroy Ravenna's magic golden mirror that has gone missing but continues to exert its evil influence over Snow White.

That mission is of course but excuse for Eric to be reunited with his thought-to-be-dead wife Sara and team up to end Freya's icy dominion once and for all – but not without vanquishing her 'cannot- seem-to-stay-dead' sister Ravenna at the same time. Since Eric and Sara are not quite people of good humour, their journey gets some welcome comic relief in the form of two male dwarfs Nion (Nick Frost) and Gryff (Rob Brydon) as well as their romantic interests of the opposite sex Mrs. Bromwyn (Sheridan Smith) and Doreena (Alexandra Roach). As distracting as their snappy salty banter may be, their presence is easily the best thing that the film has going for it, not only because of their easy chemistry but also because they get the scant memorable lines from an otherwise clunky and leaden script.

As sympathetic as we want to be to the writers for having to keep Snow White out of the picture, the seven-year leap around the events of the original does their film absolutely no favours. What transpired between Ravenna and Freya in those seven years, or Sara for that matter, is probably the most glaring logic gap, not to mention why Freya would suddenly decide upon her sister's death that she should acquire the magic mirror for herself. It also begs the question why Freya never sought to doubt Ravenna's hand in orchestrating the death of her daughter in the years since the former left to create her own fiefdom, and only decides to do so when the latter is somehow magically resurrected by the mirror.

Nicolas-Troyan's experience in the visual effects department (as opposed to the storytelling department) also means that his priority is to deliver spectacle, and true enough, the wintry vistas as well as the CGI-ed sorcery looks sumptuous. There are Colleen Atwood's lavish costumes to feast on as well, the veteran designer on many a Tim Burton film going all out to make Freya look coolly stunning and Ravenna wickedly ravishing. Yet all that style cannot quite distract from a distinct lack of substance, which borrows liberally from a certain Disney animated hit with that song 'Let It Go', 'The Lord of the Rings', 'Game of Thrones' and even 'The Hunger Games'. Oh yes, you'll be hard-pressed to find a shred of originality in this half- baked mish-mash of a product which makes no apologies for taking ingredients from other vastly superior fairy-tales and/ or fantasy adventures.

If that sounds like we're bashing up 'The Huntsman: Winter's War', that's largely because it is quite embarrassingly devoid of imagination, inspiration or excitement – and no minotaur-like monster or elfin wood nymph changes that. That's not to say that it isn't watchable, especially if all you're looking for is some diverting fairy-tale entertainment; but when you have actors off the quality of Chastain, Theron and Blunt, you'd probably expect much, much more than a throwaway popcorn flick that squanders them in such shallow caricatured roles. Hemsworth might be one of the hottest male actors today, but even his fit, rugged presence cannot quite save you from this cold.


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