I never watch a trailer until after I’ve seen the movie, and I also attempt to avoid as much news as possible. Then I compare what I knew, to what you knew. Let’s find out if what we see in the trailer is what we get, and if there is any advantage to going in fresh. (There will be spoilers.)
What I Knew Before: Is a huntsman a dwarf? That was the number one question I had going into this Snow White tale. As you may recall, I was under the impression we were getting two adult tellings of the tale this summer with Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman. After seeing the family friendly Mirror (and writing a Trailer Truth) I realized this movie is the one I was waiting for. If memory served correctly, fellow movies.com writer Scott Weinberg sent out a tweet months ago declaring Huntsman had the better dwarfs, which include Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins. I knew Charlize Theron was starring as the evil queen because of a Top Chef episode, plus I saw an image of her from the film in some sort of milk bath. I also saw an image of Kristen Stewart in body armor (proving this isn't your mother's Snow White). By process of elimination, I was positive Armie Hammer wasn't in this film, but I wasn't sure who Snow's "prince" would be.
What I Knew After: The huntsman is Chris Hemsworth! That mystery has finally been solved. You know how last year was the "Year of the Gosling"? Ryan Gosling seemed to be in every movie. Well, this just might be "The Hemsworth Year." He's already starred in The Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, and now this. The film itself earns its PG-13 label and its adult-version of Snow White, well not that kind of adult, though you do see a boney Theron back. The first hour feels like introduction.
First we have a king, then Snow, then the evil queen, and her brother, onto the huntsman, then the son of a Duke, until we finally land on the dwarves. It was actually getting to the point where I thought there wouldn't be seven little guys in this film and I simply misremembered Weinberg's tweet. Not only is there a lot of introduction, there is a lot of new themes added to this tale. Snow recites the Lord's Prayer, but there's also fairies, a magical land with a mythical animal, and a raving lunatic in the form of Theron. Been warned, that milk bath is never explained. It's all addictive, yet terribly flawed. The only thing I am positive about is if you put an axe or hammer in Hemsworth's hand, I will watch.
What You Knew: A milk bath and war. That's what this queen is all about. I'll never be one to complain about Theron's side boob, so let's continue. The queen sucks, literally, not figuratively. Once she finds out there is another who could be fairest, the milky gold mirror explains how to eliminate the queen's competition. You know what would be great? If this was all a misunderstanding, and the mirror meant "fair" as in "just" or "honest." Moving on, Snow jumps off a cliff into water and doesn't die. I know, I am stunned. Cliff jumping only kills in movies if you are evil or two ladies in a convertible. Hemsworth shows up as someone who can hunt.
He's also a man. Let's just call him the huntsman. Suddenly we're surrounded by dwarves and the odd magical forest kingdom complete with a buck with branch antlers. On screen: FROM THE PRODUCER OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Sigh, you do realize bringing up Alice in Wonderland isn't a positive, and not only that it's just a producer. The queen continues to want Snow dead, and Snow starts to want the exact same thing for the queen. More battle sequences are shown, and a shot of Snow with an apple finds us in a rapid fire ending that you have with almost all feature trailers in today's world. Things get slowed down for some sharp, black monsters wreaking havoc on some soldiers. The kicker for the trailer, "Let them come," from a sinister queen.
Trailer Truth: Honestly, that's a great trailer. With a film like Snow White and the Huntsman you expect a queen, dwarves, and an apple. I have no problem with showing those moments. It really is a dark film, and hopefully parents realize kids don't have to see it just because Snow White is in the title. This trailer is proof of the film's tone. The only humor in the film comes from the dwarves and some of Theron's insanity. That could have been added, but what they are trying to sell here is an epic. In that regard, they gave it a very good try. They even get the character introductions correct with Hemsworth and the dwarves.
It takes them a while to show up in the trailer, just like it does in the movie. I have one lingering thought. There is no way I'm in the minority here. Does anyone think Stewart is more beautiful than Theron? That's insane, right? Whenever I look at Stewart I see an awkward, tiny little kid, like her character from Into the Wild. For me, this actually adds to the power of thinking Snow is fairer than the queen, because they must me talking about her spirit, not beauty. You don't always see that spirit in the film, but the trailer does a fantastic job of sucking me in to this adult tale.