The Huntsman: Winters War (WITH SPOILERS)
The Huntsman Winter's War is part prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. I have not yet seen Snow White and the Huntsman but when visiting my mom for Mother's Day we decided to go and see The Huntsman Winter's War. I gave her the choice of that or Keanu the Gangster Kitten and she picked the Huntsman.
The story follows the early life of Eric, the Huntsman as he is raised in the kingdom or would it be considered a queendom? of Freya, the Ice Queen. Freya is the sister of the evil queen Raveena who was featured in the Snow White film. Freya's rule and in fact even the genesis of her powers are all the product of a betrayal by her sister Raveena who wipes all traces of the idea of love from her heart after Raveena possesses Freya's lover who in turn kills their new born daughter. This is all kept from Freya though who subsequently raises all the children of her queendom to be brutal warriors who are brainwashed to be loyal to her above all things.
As is the case whenever someone tries to control someone else's thoughts or emotions, Freya fails in controlling her subjects when Eric falls in love with Sara a child warrior whom he grew up with during Freya's heartless reign. Sara and Eric are eventually separated by Freya once she discovers their love for one another and creates a stunt to trick them into believing that one is dead and the other has fled. It may sound a bit funky now but when you see the movie it makes sense.
The story of Snow White and the Huntsman takes place during the middle years of the Winter's War story during which Eric has left the Ice Queen's kingdom. Once the childhood prequel is developed the Snow White years are skipped and the focus of the movie becomes Eric's quest to keep the Mirror out of the hands of the Ice Queen.
Sara and Eric are reunited during his quest for the Mirror, but Sara who no longer believes in Eric's love for her betrays him to the Ice Queen so that she can recover the Mirror after Eric, Sara and a couple of dwarf friends do the hard work to repossess it.
The Mirror as it turns out has become something of a safe haven for the evil queen Raveena who has sheltered her self for years inside it. Once Freya asks the mirror who the fairest of all is Raveena is released from her self imposed prisoning inside the mirror.
Sara realizes Eric's love is true and after betraying him she in turn tricks the Ice Queen into thinking that she has killed Eric in something of a reversal of fortunes for Freya.
Raveena essentially tries to rest control of Freya's queendom from her and while Eric and Sara enact a plan to overthrow Freya, Freya comes to understand the deceit that her sister has done in convincing her that her lover betrayed her in order to unleash her own powers. So Freya really isn't that bad or evil, she just became bad and evil after Raveena's deceit. Once Freya realizes this she turns against her sister as Eric, Sara and Freya unite in their efforts to defeat the truly evil queen Raveena.
You can probably guess the outcome of the final battle. That said a door is left open for another potential Huntsman movie in the future.
While I would not rave beyond measure about The Huntsman: Winter's War, I did think it was an entertaining and enjoyable movie. The storyline is not entirely unpredictable but the minor twists and turns are interestingly developed enough to allow the viewer to stay engaged.
It is definitely a good movie for watching on DVD on a cold Winter's night, should you live in such a region. My mum told me today that she bought Snow White and the Huntsman on DVD so we can get caught up on the earlier story, which knowing the general Snow White story we at least have a perfunctory basis of knowledge about.
If you choose to see the movie in the theatre it is a worth while expense, but if you can wait for it to come out on DVD or as a T.V. rental it's a good movie for a cold or rainy day.