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|Originaltitel:||The Huntsman: Winter`s War|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 114 Min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Many years before Snow White defeated the evil queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and gained control of the kingdom, Ravenna ruled here together with her good sister Freya (Emily Blunt). When the magical mirror of the evil queen reveals that Freya's child would one day be more beautiful and powerful than she is, she tricks the child into being killed. The enormous grief over the loss freezes Freya's heart and releases enormous powers in her, with whose help she creates her own icy kingdom in the north. Here she draws children into an army of perfectly trained huntsmen who, over the years, in many bloody wars, have made their kingdom bigger and bigger. Her best fighters are Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain), who are loyal to their queen. There is only one rule they simply cannot obey: despite the absolute prohibition of love in Freya's kingdom, they both develop feelings for each other. When the Ice Queen finds out, her revenge is merciless. But this is only the beginning of the story…
"The Huntsman & the Ice Queen" tells in the first minutes the prequel of the cinema success "Snow White & The Huntsman" before the prequel turns into a sequel. But if you hope to see Snow White again, you will be disappointed. Because after the negative headlines that director Rupert Sanders and Snow White actress Kristen Stewart had caused through their affair on set, both are no longer on board for this sequel. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who was responsible for the special effects at the predecessor, has now taken a seat on the director's chair. Besides Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, only Sam Clafin and Nick Frost as dwarf Nion will be part of the cast.
Stylistically, Nicolas Troyan drives on exactly the same track as Sanders. But even though some of the effects look quite good, the whole thing seems a bit like the B-Movie version of a movie, that doesn't necessarily belong in the A-Liga of fantasy cinema either. The idea to mix well-known fairy tale elements to a sometimes quite dark fantasy spectacle sounds quite promising on paper. But in order to be able to do that in a way that makes it work, you need a really good filmmaker. And where Sander's clear weaknesses had already revealed themselves, Nicolas-Troyan reveals even greater incompetence. He can't exploit the necessary potential from the good models offered by history, furnishings or effects. And if the script has clear weaknesses, he doesn't succeed in overplaying them with a dash of irony or breathtaking showmanship.
In addition, scenes are missing that make the action look really big. Instead, there are many moments when nothing really happens, while the aspects of the story (big battles, etc.) that could have caused a lot of spectacle are either only briefly dealt with or even mentioned by the narrator. The story is said to be more epic and the threat to the kingdom even greater than it was in the first part. And yet, the movie as a whole seems smaller, more unspectacular and also cheaper than its predecessor. Moreover, the attempts to tell the story around Snow White without leaving it completely unmentioned seem very tense.
The chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain is very harmonious and Emily Blunt plays the Ice Queen appropriately hypothermic. And there are quite a few scenes that can offer a decent entertainment value. Unfortunately, that's not enough to turn this fairy tale into an all around fantasy adventure. If you really liked "Snow White & The Huntsman" (and not necessarily because of Kristen Stewart), you will also find "The Huntsman & the Ice Queen" to have enough positive sides that justify a visit to the cinema. But those who expect more than pretty people and some good effects will be disappointed all along. And so it's only enough for one: With some exceptions just worth seeing!
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