What’s a mirror if not a mirror? What’s a prequel if also a sequel? What’s a Snow White story if not a Snow White? What’s a Winter’s War if not one decent battle?

And those are just few of the things wrong with this successor to Snow White and the Huntsman of 2012, which starts decades before that film’s beginning, and ends seven years (yes, that precise) after its end. Worse, The Huntsman: Winter’s War reminds you of at least three, far superior films. A golden round thing that hypnotises and hisses? Lord of the Rings. A magical forest with bright, other-wordly creatures? Avatar. Two sisters one of whom goes into depression, freezes everything she wants, and hides away in an ice castle? That, of course, would be Frozen.

So why should one watch Winter’s War? One wishes one could say for its star cast, impressive as it is. However, if the dazzling, imposing Theron is missing but for a few minutes of snarling venom at the end, the others are, to say the least, far from fairy-like. Blunt, a fine actress as she is, alternates between grieving eyes and cold stare, weighed down by overladen costumes that are, always, grey and metallic, often with strings of chains. It’s also unclear what exactly is her mission. As Queen Freya, sister to Theron’s Queen Ravenna, she starts off mourning for the loss of her daughter, and proceeds to set up a kingdom by acquiring lands from where she brings children back to turn into soldiers.

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