(CBS News) The new action-adventure film, “Snow White and the Huntsman,” hits the big screen Friday, starring Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth.
The film, which puts a dark twist on the classic fairy tale, follows Queen Ravenna (Theron), whose fairest-in-the-land status is threatened by Snow White (Stewart).
So what are the critics saying? It seems they’re straight down the middle on this one. Rotten Tomatoes, the film review site, has a 50 percent rating.
Although director Rupert Sanders’ movie has received mediocre reviews, critics have largely praised the film for its stunning visuals. It’s no wonder. The studio budget is estimated at $170 million, and there’s already talk of a sequel.
Here’s what some critics have to sayc:
USA Today gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars: “Stunningly shot and inconsistently acted and written, Snow White has enough visual fireworks to keep the film afloat, even if star Kristen Stewart can’t get out of Twilight mode. A modern-day twist on the 200-year-old fairy tale, Snow White aims to be The Lord of the Rings meets the Brothers Grimm. And while the battle scenes are fitting of a Tolkien tale, the performances prevent the story from having the resonance of either movie or fable.”
Rolling Stone: “’Snow White and the Huntsman’ is definitely a missed opportunity. Sanders was on to something in taking the Snow White tale to its most menacing extreme. Right now, he lacks the skill set to shape and mold what’s in his head to screen proportions. But the good news is that Sanders has the potential to do just that. Today’s misfire just might turn into tomorrow’s masterwork.”
Time magazine: “Rare among the recent fairy tale adaptions (from Mirror Mirror to the dreadful Red Riding Hood) the invigorating Snow White and the Huntsman actually breathes new life into an old story.”
Hollywood Reporter: “A bold rethinking of a familiar old story and striking design elements are undercut by a draggy midsection and undeveloped characters in Snow White and the Huntsman. After the campy family farce of Mirror, Mirror, this second revisionist take of the year on the 19th century fairy tale strides out deadly serious and in full armor, not to mention with more costume changes for Charlize Theron than a Lady Gaga concert.”
Slate: “Snow White and the Huntsman’s problems go deeper than just the casting. This over-crammed, disjointed, and lugubrious film is misconceived from the ground up.”
Tell us: Do you plan to see “Snow White and the Huntsman”?