Mars - Jason Johnson
So this is the franchise where they dumped the main character and tried to continue as if nothing happened.
The results, predictably, are dire.
Kristen Stewart was the star of 2012's Snow White And The Huntsman. It was her film. She was the point of it.
Now we are left with her sidekick, the Huntsman, as the lead. To me, it is like making a James Bond movie with Moneypenny taking over as the main character.
It is just dumb.
Of course we still have the villainous Ravenna, but she is absent for much of the film.
Blunt tries to pick up the slack as Freya, but she never comes across as anything more than a Frozen reject. We have had our fill of ice magic, guys.
Another new addition, Chastain, plays Hemsworth's love interest Sara, but she cannot hold a candle to Stewart.
She is super boring and has no business in a fantasy film. She should stick to Oscar bait.
Beyond its central fatal flaw, Winter's War is confusing and boring.
It is both a sequel and a prequel, with some of the story set before the first flick and some after, which makes it really tough to figure out where we are in the timeline as things move along.
The plot is uninvolving, the costumes are lacklustre, the sets are uninspired and those dwarves are a constant annoyance.
Venus - Joanne Soh
Winter's War will go down as a case study of how a star-studded cast can't save a half-baked story.
We have Hemsworth giving us action and bits of comedy, and Chastain emoting as much as she can to give her character some depth.
Blunt gives us a steelier version of Elsa from Frozen, and Theron is at her evil best.
But this "sprequel" is going at multiple directions at the same time and the powerhouses are nothing but empty calories.
The prequel bit - where we are introduced to a young Ravenna and her pure-hearted sister Freya - is well played, and how Freya embraces the dark side is truly empathetic.
But things get truly baffling when the plot segues into the sequel part.
Hemsworth should consider stepping out of the action genre for a while. He is easy on the eyes but his Eric is unbearably bland.
And who in the right mind chooses to bookend Theron? Do they not know she was the best thing in the first movie?
Also, a bow and arrow does not make Chastain a Katniss Everdeen. She may have done her own fight sequences, but the award-winning thesp just cannot cut it as an action heroine.
And why did Nicolas-Troyan, who obviously paid more attention to the visual effects, stick the amazing Blunt in a position that only lets her glower in anger? This outing is such a waste of talent.
STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt DIRECTOR: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan THE SKINNY: Eric the Huntsman (Hemsworth) is called upon to serve Snow White, whose kingdom is again under threat by another evil queen - Freya (Blunt), a witch who can turn anything into ice. He also has to deal with the surprise appearance of Sara (Chastain), his supposedly dead wife, and the re-emergence of Freya's sister Ravenna (Theron), who is more power-hungry than ever.
THE CONSENSUS: So what if it's got a hunky Huntsman and three hot chicks? Winter's War will still leave you cold.
This article was first published on April 13, 2016.
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