Friday, May 20, 2016

Jessica Chastain’s Fake Accent Is the Embodiment of ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ – Incredibly Bad but Entertainingly Hilarious

The Huntsman: Winter’s War serves as prequel, sequel, and spin-off of 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, a movie I’ve had no interest of watching.  Fortunately, I’ve been led to the impression that watching it isn’t essential in watching The Huntsman: Winter’s War at all.  So I went to watch the movie without watching its predecessor first.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War reveals the origin of Eric (Chris Hemsworth), the titular Hunstman, and then follows him after the events of Snow White and the Huntsman, as he reunites with his lost lover, Sara (Jessica Chastain), to end the reign of terror of the evil ice queen Elsa Freya (Emily Blunt) and her sister, Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), who is brought back to life after her demise at the hands of Snow White.

I find this movie not making much sense.  Now, to be fair, fairy tales traditionally don’t make sense.  And by that, I don’t mean that, since they’re works of fantasy, it’s expected for them to defy reality as we know it.  They don’t make sense because the economics, geography, and politics of their settings; the reactions and motivations of their characters; and other elements within the boundaries of the tales’ worlds behave irrationally.  Go read the traditional versions of fairy tales as compiled by Brother Grimm, Hans Andersen, and Giambattista Basile to see what I mean.  Anyway, The Huntsman: Winter’s War is as mad as you can expect from a fairy tale.  For example, the origin and set-up of Freya’s kingdom is distractingly cartoonish, and I’m baffled by how such kingdom can remain functioning.
But more than being an insane fairy tale, The Huntsman: Winter’s War is also pure madness when evaluated as a film production.  The writing is inconsistent and dumb.  The tone shifts unevenly; the movie is unsure if it’s going for the dark and brooding, or light and goofy.  And, most notably, the performances from its stellar cast were sheer camp.

I have a theory that the stars of this movie – Hemsworth, Chastain, Blunt, and Theron – realized how godawful the script in their hands is, and instead of being angry and miserable of the fact that their agents got them to do this movie, they decided to have fun with it instead.  So they went to intentionally give bad, blown up performances while trying to keep a straight face.  It’s as if they were competing who can deliver the hammiest performance.  If that’s the case, then Chastain takes the cake with her horrible, fake Scottish accent that erratically changes and disappears and returns – sometimes, even within the same scene.  It’s hilarious, and I loved it.

It has nice visuals, I give it that.  I particularly love the Enchanted Forest and its delightfully weird creatures.  However, as a whole, it’s an incredibly bad movie.  But, thankfully, it entered “so bad that it’s good” territory – hugely thanks to the stars’ hammy acting, especially from Chastain – that I got to be entertained by it nonetheless.

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