The Daily Beast - Universal’s Huntsman, on the other hand, boasts no voiceover narration, and is a violent, serious, action-packed revenge tale that spends the bulk of it’s time having Snow White (Stewart) and the huntsman (Hemsworth) being chased through the Dark Forest and various villages by an elite team of mercenary warriors assembled by the queen (Theron). There also are several badass action-movie lines. Early on, when the huntsman is asked why he doesn’t like to wear armor, he replies, “I don’t like to be weighed down.” In the end, the film is like a cross between The Princess Bride and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Universal’s Snow White (Stewart) starts out as more of reluctant hero, jailed from age 11 to 18 by the evil queen (Theron). She eventually escapes and falls in with the huntsman (Hemsworth), a fallen warrior/drunk whose wife was murdered. The huntsman eventually teaches Snow White how to fight through tough love—at one point forcing her to face off against a wild boar with a dagger—and as the two overcome trial after tribulation, she is transformed into a warrior herself. And, in true Twilight fashion, Snow White finds herself torn between the huntsman, and Prince Charmont (Claflin).
On the Universal side, the queen (Theron) is a scary villainess who makes herself appear young by draining the beauty from pretty teenage girls, and has a penchant for nude bathing, as well as consuming yellow birds. The queen has a vendetta against the patriarchal royalty system—or how kings replace queens with younger and younger women. “Men use women,” she says. “But when a woman stays young and beautiful for all time, all the world is hers for the taking.” She is armed with an imposing, curved dagger, and is not afraid to use it.
Universal has not just seven, but eight dwarfs that were once court jesters in the kingdom, but were framed for a crime they didn’t commit, and banished. They defend themselves with intricate, makeshift weaponry, don’t talk much but bicker by kicking one another, and although no dwarfs have been cast yet in the film, the screenplay offers some interesting options: Caesar, eldest dwarf with longest beard (Ben Kingsley); Nero the hotheaded dwarf (Gary Oldman); Tiberius, the biggest dwarf (Ray Winstone); Claudius, a stuttering dwarf (Terry Gilliam); Constantine, a blind dwarf (Robert Duvall); Gus, the youngest dwarf (Toby Kebbell); Hadrian, the strongest dwarf (Bob Hoskins); Trajan, a slightly camp dwarf (Eddie Izzard). The wish-list cast of non-little people leads one to believe that the dwarfs could be created through CGI trickery.
Universal’s Huntsman film, however, contains a smorgasbord of mythical creatures, including fairies, shape-shifting wolves—again, cue Twilight references—an evil Shadow Army, and a Dark Forest packed with more creative creatures than a Guillermo Del Toro film.