WTF is a huntsman?

Looking for a blockbuster in Snow White

I desperately want Snow White and the Huntsman to be good. Since The Avengers it’s been a rough month for potential blockbusters and ever since G.I. Joe: Retaliation got removed from the summer schedule the road leading up to The Dark Knight Rises has looked awfully bleak.

So somehow I’ve found myself relying on a “dark” adaptation of a fairy tale to get me through what’s usually a fruitful time in the Hollywood schedule. I never thought it would come to this.

I mean I don’t even understand the title. Why is it “huntsman” and not “hunter”? Is that meant to signify that the characters in this movie speak in some sort of fancy old English? Were the producers worried audiences would be confused about Chris Hemsworth’s gender if they didn’t make it clear that he was a man? Is there a difference between the two terms that I as someone who likes his animals killed and cooked before he ever sees them am simply not aware of?

Seriously people who come up with movie titles get it together.

My only other issue with Snow White and the Huntsman is the casting of Charlize Theron as the old witch queen. Charlize Theron is many things but she’s certainly not old. The fact that Hollywood doesn’t have many roles for older women isn’t news but you’d have thought this was a role they could reserve for someone over the age of at least 40. Theron is 36. That is ridiculous.

But otherwise I’m excited for this stupid movie.

After Thor Cabin in the Woods and the opening scene of Star Trek I’m sold on Hemsworth as a star. The guy oozes charisma and is very good at killing stuff. Based on what I’ve seen his entire role as the titular huntsman character is to kill things in a forest — to be fair his very good killing skills may not translate in a wooded environment so this could be a stretch even for him — and presumably have sex with Kristen Stewart. That’s a premise I can get behind.

As for Stewart I’m interested to see her move beyond the Twilight franchise. Audiences may never be able to accept her as anything other than Bella but she’s shown promise in her other roles so far. Between this movie and On the Road later in the year she’ll have plenty of opportunity to prove herself in 2012 and if she can pull off playing a hermit in chainmail who sings songs about how happy she is to go to work with dwarves then I say we give her a shot.

Ultimately Snow White and the Huntsman will live and die by its action sequences. Normally I’d refer to a director’s resumé before suggesting what to expect in that regard. Unfortunately this is the only movie director Rupert Sanders has ever worked on. The guy has a really cool website that’s got all sorts of pictures of trains and empty liquor bottles but apparently the only things he’s directed are commercials. Admittedly they’re impressive commercials (including some of Nike’s best and some truly breathtaking video game commercials) but that really doesn’t give us much to go on.

Fortunately for everyone involved Snow White and the Huntsman is almost certainly going to be a hit. The star power alone would normally drive people to the box office but there hasn’t been a real hit in theatres since The Avengers and it’s June. People want to go to the movies.

We’re also at a moment where fantasy has crept its way back into the public’s good books. After Lord of the Rings we dealt with a series of subpar ripoffs but since Game of Thrones debuted it’s clear that America’s appetite for magical warfare is still strong.

So no the title doesn’t make any sense and Charlize Theron could just as easily play the young princess as the evil step queen. But who cares? It’s the summer movie season and as long as Snow White and the Huntsman is heavy on spectacle and light on melodrama do we even care if it’s particularly good?