The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a movie that exists. Not once have I ever heard, “Oh, I would love to see a sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman.” But here we are today, in 2016, with a sequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman that, for some reason, is being advertised as a prequel. What a world. Anyway, we answered every question you could ever have about The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
Q: So The Huntsman: Winter’s War takes place before Snow White and the Huntsman?
Q: Why do all the commercials claim that?
A: I don’t know, maybe to prey on people’s deep-seated love of prequels. People love prequels. But, no, only about 15 minutes of The Huntsman: Winter’s War takes place before Snow White and the Huntsman.
Q: Can you repeat that last answer, only using some cool and/or lazy abbreviations?
A: Sure. “But, no, only about 15 minutes of THWW takes place before SWATH.”
Q: Is Kristen Stewart in The Huntsman: Winter’s War?
A: Sort of. She’s seen in a “Let’s catch you up on what’s happened so far, mister” opening montage.
Q: Is Snow White a character in this movie?
A: Yes. But she’s very sad because her mirror is missing.
Q: Is there a new actor playing Snow White?
A: Sort of. Snow White is only mentioned or seen from behind.
Q: What about Canadian reggae musician, Snow?
A: The Canadian reggae musician Snow is not seen at all during the events of The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
Q: What is the Winter’s War?
A: Best I can tell, it’s called that because Freya (Emily Blunt) has ice powers.
Q: Oh, like Captain Cold?
A: Not really. Captain Cold needs a mechanical device to spread his ice. Freya can do it through supernatural abilities.
Q: Who is Freya?
A: Freya is Ravenna’s (Charlize Theron) sister. She seems nice enough when we first meet her, but suffers a terrible tragedy. Love is then banned from her kingdom.
Q: Freya bans Mike Love from the Beach Boys?
A: No, she bans love, the emotion. As far as I know, all living members of the Beach Boys are still allowed to perform in her kingdom.
Q: Even “In My Room”?
A: “In My Room” would probably be frowned upon.
Q: So two people fall in love and Freya becomes cross with them?
A: Yes. Eric, the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) fall in love. This is forbidden and there are consequences.
Q: So this is the prequel part of the movie?
A: All of that happens before the events of Snow White and the Huntsman. After these consequences (which would be sort of confusing if I tried to explain, and spoilery), the film flash forwards to post-SWATH.
Q: Wait, the Huntsman’s name is Eric?
Q: Is there a Huntsman named Cody? Maybe Steve?
A: Not that I am aware of.
Q: Why does this movie exist?
A: I don’t know.
Q: Did anyone see the first movie and decide, “I would like to learn more about Eric, the Huntsman”?
A: Apparently at least one person did, because this movie exists.
Q: If you’re going to be quoted in this week’s commercials for The Huntsman: Winter’s War, what do you think it will be?
A: “This movie exists!” – Mike Ryan, Uproxx
Q: So what’s the gist of the post SWATH plot?
A: Freya steals the magic mirror from Snow White. Snow White, through an intermediary, asks Eric to retrieve it. That’s pretty much it.
Q: So how is Ravenna in this movie? Didn’t she die in the first one?
A: She comes back to life.
Q: I see. Well, I bet it’s awesome when Emily Blunt’s Freya and Charlize Theron’s Ravenna are on screen together, right? Like, they are trying to out camp each other? That sounds great.
A: Well, you’d think that might happen. But the two are barely ever together and even when they are, it’s not as exciting as you might think it would be. Theron’s Ravenna is in this movie for maybe 20 minutes, tops.
Q: Is this one of those, “It’s so over the top it’s fun,” movies?
A: No. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is not over the top. It’s under the top. It’s probably closer to the middle. Maybe just under the middle – under the middle mediocrity.
Q: Will there be a third Huntsman movie?
A: Honestly, I’m still so surprised there’s a second that if you told me there would be five of these someday, I guess I wouldn’t be any more surprised than I already am.
Q: What’s the most shocking thing about The Huntsman: Winter’s War?
A: Probably the look on Chris Hemsworth’s face the moment he was told they were making another Huntsman movie. When I picture this, it’s Chris Hemsworth receiving a handwritten letter in his mailbox. I have no idea why, but this is how I picture it. He opens the letter, reads it, then looks back at his house and imagines the new extension he’s going to add. Hemsworth then smiles.
Mike Ryan lives in New York City and has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and New York magazine. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.