The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Rated 2.0

Writers Evan Spiliotopoulos and Craig Mazin and director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan concoct a combination prequel and sequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, with fairly dismal results. Like its predecessor, it’s too dark and doomy to be any fun, and this time any link to the Brothers Grimm is tenuous indeed—it amounts to dropping the name of Snow White every half-hour or so, like a no-talent ham bragging about the famous stars he’s worked with. The convoluted script has none of the emotional resonance that makes fairy tales live for centuries, and director Nicolas-Troyan (prematurely promoted from visual effects work) shows no understanding of the difference between wall-to-wall CGI and real storytelling magic. A good cast tries hard: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain. J.L.