What is Charlize Theron doing in this movie—such a fine actress, reduced to shopworn rants and glowers? Or the warmly charismatic Chris Hemsworth (fresh from "The Avengers")? And how to explain the presence of Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, and Nick Frost—all of them, it pains me to report, playing dwarves?
"Snow White and the Huntsman" is a CGI confection spun around the bones of the Grimm fairy tale. The picture has moments of familiar digital beauty, but many more passages of effects and conceptions borrowed directly from earlier films.
An otherworldly white stag strongly recalls Harry Potter’s guardian Patronus; the sight of a fellowship of humans and dwarves hiking along a rocky mountain ridge is one of several lifts from the "Lord of the Rings" films; and, going way back, there’s a spooky figure erupting into a flock of black birds that seems derived from Madonna’s old "Frozen" video.
Not to mention echoes of "Braveheart" and various Joan of Arc films, as well as a truly lamentable incursion of neo-Disney bunnies and butterflies and adorable, big-eyed pixies.
What the movie lacks are any surprises: being an expensive inflation of one of the best-known of all kiddie tales, it’s basically "Much Ado About Snow White."
Read the full review at Reason.com.