I didn't think it was possible to make a movie this bad these days. I'm not talking about the sort of bad like Transformers 4
, or even something like Prometheus
. I'm talking straight up, Al Adamson as funded by Dino de Laurentiis type bad. I haven't seen so much money and talent wasted so badly since, well, Prometheus
, at least. I'm talking so bad it's amazing no one said, "Holy s**t, we suck. Let's just quit."
There's this king and queen. They have a daughter named Snow White (who is actually not very light-complexioned at all). The queen suddenly dies (off screen, with no reason given), sending the king into a funk. This is such a bad funk he gathers up his greatest warriors and takes them to kill a bunch of
pikemen who are standing completely still in the middle of a plowed field, somewhere. Oddly, the
pikemen shatter into shards of black glass or hematite or something when they get hit. Weird, huh?
After the battle, one of the king's men finds a gigantic steel box in the middle of the field that wasn't there in any of the establishing shots or battle scenes we just spent a couple of minutes watching. Inside the box, they find Charlize Theron with some black crap smeared on her hands. The king is all like, "Damn, that's a fine piece of ass. Imma marry that." He takes her back to his castle, cleans her up, introduces her to Snow, and marries her the very same day
! Holy crap! It just seems inappropriate for anyone, even a king, to go to battle, meet some random slave girl, and marry her in the span of 24 hours.
No sooner has the king tossed her into bed and mounted her than she starts talking about her ex husband, another king funnily enough. Seems he used to treat her badly and rape her constantly until she murdered him and took over his kingdom. Charlize may be hot be her pillow talk sucks. Anyway, she produces an enormous dagger from absolutely nowhere
and shoves it through the king's chest, causing him to leak purple kool-aid. That done, Charlize puts on his crown, walks to the castle's main gate, and opens it somehow. She just kind of walks up to it and it starts to open. Suddenly, about a thousand men on horseback ride through the gate. I'm not sure where they came from or how no one noticed them but, f**k it. If the movie doesn't care, I guess I don't either. Accompanying this action is the following narration: "The king had fought a fake army, only to die at the hands of a REAL ONE!!!"
Anyway, Snow White ends up locked in a tower for the next, I dunno, ten or twelve years or something. Charlize has a magic
gong installed in her throne room and asks it every day who is the fairest. This causes the mirror to melt into a puddle of gold which then forms into a man under a gold sheet who intones, "YOU ARE THE FAIREST. YOUR POWER COMES FROM YOUR BEAUTY. IF YOUR BEAUTY EVER FADES, SO WILL YOUR POWER." Seems like Charlize ought to know that already but, anyway. One day, the mirror changes its tune, and says that Snow White is now the fairest since she's come of age. So ... even though she looks the same as yesterday, it only counts now that she's a legal adult? (Given the blood droplets motif going on all through this movie, I'm guessing the script at one point intended Snow's menarche to be the triggering factor.)
Well, s**t, can't have that. Charlize sends her brother Finn and his horrifyingly prominent teeth to fetch Snow so that she can be sacrificed. Finn's always had a thing for Snow, though, so he figures he best take this last chance to cop a feel. While he's doing so, Snow stabs him in the face with a rusty nail that a raven gave her just a minute prior. Snow escapes into the castle sewers, then to the ocean, where a white horse is waiting for her (WTF?). Snow rides the horse into the Swamp of Sadness, where the horse is swallowed up by a mud bog. After that, she's chased by a big, scary wolf for a bit. And, in the background, a gigantic rock creature impassively watches her run past. Unfortunately, Charlize's knights show up before Snow can meet Atreyu or the Childlike Empress. Snow Escapes by running into The Dark Forest, where Finn and the knights fear to tread. In the forest, Snow steps on some hallucinogenic fungal pods and imagines giant bats that make the same noise as the queen from Aliens
and a bunch of other hilarious crap.
Meanwhile, Thor is getting his ass kicked by a dude even bigger than him. When he wakes up from the beating, Finn and his men take him to Charlize. Seems Thor is the only person who ever went into The Dark Forest and got out alive, so Charlize wants him to go in and find Snow. Thor's all like, "No", so Charlize promises to show him his dead wife if he succeeds in bringing Snow back alive. (She doesn't say "bring her back to life", she says she'll "show" him his dead wife. I was hoping she had his wife's corpse set up in a barrel like a giant jack-in-the-box to play a nasty joke on him but, alas, it was not to be.)
Thor takes Finn and a couple of mooks into The Dark Forest and finds Snow in, like, five minutes. For some reason, Finn decides to laugh at Thor for thinking Charlize could bring back his wife, then tries to kill him. Of course, Thor kills the two mooks and tosses Finn into a big bunch of those PCP-fungal pods. Thor tells Snow he doesn't trust her and will never help her, then instantly changes his tune and agrees to help her. Snow knows that her, uh, uncle I guess, the Duke of something-or-another, is still alive and will offer her sanctuary. Thor and Snow have a bunch of extremely uninteresting adventures on the way to the Duke's holdout.
Meanwhile, in the Duke's lands, his son, Robin Hood, steals money from Charlize's knights to give to the poor. No, I'm not joking. His name isn't really Robin Hood but he uses a bow, steals from the rich and gives to the poor, and dresses exactly like Kevin Costner's version of the character from the 1991 movie. Robin used to be in love with Snow when they were kids, so when he hears that she's alive, he goes to Charlize's castle in the hopes of, uh ...
I'm not sure he really had a plan but, fortunately for him, Finn has just assembled a huge group of the only people to ever go into The Dark Forest and get out alive. Robin Hood kills their archer and offers to join in his place. Amazingly, Finn agrees! (!!!)
Thor and Snow have more boring adventures. They meet some women who scar their faces so that Charlize won't want to capture them and steal their beauty. Finn and his men set their village on fire. Thor and Snow have more boring adventures, until they at last meet the dwarves. One of them is Bob Hoskins! Now, everyone else in the movie is giving performances in the range of terrible to actually, physically painful. Everyone is so bad, in fact, I have to conclude the director was instructing them to suck as much as possible to make Kristen Stewart look better in comparison. But not Bob. He radiates so much dignity, class, and gravity, he blows the entire rest of the movie to smithereens.
The dwarves take Thor and Snow to Fairyville. And this, my friends, is where the movie goes from being merely very bad to being a f**king disaster. Fairyland is cobbled together from environments stolen directly from The Dark Crystal
, and Labyrinth
. It's populated by creatures stolen directly from those movies, too. Snow loves Fairyland. She dances. With fairies. With plants. With animals. With animals that look like plants. With the dwarves. In sunbeams illuminating dandelion seeds. Ravens land in front of her and barf up fairies that have anime eyes and anime facial expressions. These lead her to the white stag god from Princess Mononoke
, who bows to Snow because she's all pure and wonderful and good and ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH.
Finn's men show up. Thor kills Finn by shoving him into a tree stump with a protruding branch. The branch, I swear, seems to impale him through his anus and out his pee hole. One of the dwarves dies. Everyone cries about it for freaking ever, while walking around through a bunch of open fields just like Aragorn and Co. did in The Two Towers
. It's just as boring here as it was there. Around this time, Charlize takes the form of an old crone and feeds Snow a cursed apple, which for no reason turns into a hairy apple after she bites it. Robin Hood seems to have joined up with the group by this time, though I'm not sure when.
Finally, they reach the Duke's kingdom. Everyone's all sad because Snow's dead. Thor picks this moment to declare his love to Snow's corpse and start making out with it ... which puts a whole new, very uncomfortable spin on the story of his "dead wife". Brr.
Snow wakes up and, because she's so pure and good and s**t, convinces the Duke to go on the attack against Charlize. There's a long, boring battle scene. Snow eventually meets Charlize and battles her one-on-one. She wins. Yay, the movie is over!
As you can probably tell from how I skipped through it, the last half of this movie SUCKS. The first half sucks, too, but it's at least amusingly bad. From Fairyland onwards, however, it's just boring and irritating. It's not so much a "modern, dark" update of the Snow White story than it is a hodgepodge of broad fantasy tropes and images blatantly stolen from older, fondly remembered movies. Something else worth mentioning is the odd accent everyone adopts here. Being that this is a Snow White tale, you'd think the characters might have something akin to a German accent. No! They all speak in a generically over-broad "fantasy British" accent, that sounds like a British person attempting to do what an American might think is a Welsh accent. At least the characters are pretty consistent about it, except for Kristen Stewart, who generally doesn't bother even trying. Given the results the few times she does attempt to speak British, that's probably a good thing.
Poor Thor spends most of the movie getting beaten up, dunked in horse troughs, crushed by trolls, dragged through mud, set on fire, and suffering other sorts of abuse. Note that Chris Hemsworth is a pretty big guy, yet he seems to be shorter than almost every other male character. Either the casting director picked from the big and tall section of the actor's union, or Hemsworth's scenes were filmed to make him look smaller. Given this, and the non-stop abuse his character suffers, methinks the director didn't like Chris very much. It's pretty obvious he liked Kristen Stewart, though. She gets filmed from every possible angle, always in situations where she is the only beautiful thing in a sea of ugly. Then there's that Fairyland bulls**t. Ugh.
Awful, awful movie. If you watch it, just hit STOP when it gets to where they meet the dwarves.