Overall reaction? Pretty much hated it. In spite of vast loathing for Kristen Stewart, I was seduced by the awesome trailer with the gorgeous production design and special effects into wanting to see it. But what a waste.
Let's start with things I liked, since that's a short list:
1. The production design. It's gorgeous. Absolutely stunning. Gothic and intricate, with some great ideas with all the bird imagery. By far, the best part of the movie.
2. I kind of liked Chris Hemsworth. His is the one character I really felt for in the whole thing, bad or good. He plays a drunken widower, mourning his wife, and the only way the queen can get him to agree to go after Snow is to promise to bring his wife back from the dead. That worked for me. Very well. And he played it up as well as he could.
What didn't I like:
1. Either of the female leads. Snow just doesn't do very much, which actually helps Stewart out, but Theron overacts SOOOOOOO much here, I was snorting through most of her scenes that were supposed to be scary. Her acting style is already over-the-top, which is why she does better at grittier, more contemporary roles in my opinion because it forces her to underplay and thus hit a much smoother edge. When the style demands over the top, on top of her over-the-top-ness? Ouch.
2. Pacing. All over the place. It started out okay, but all those glorious action scenes that were so electrifying in the trailer occur within the space of a couple minutes at the end. Plus, there was a TON of telling instead of showing which is just boring, boring, boring.
3. For all the new ideas/twists it was supposed to introduce, very little got explored or had any depth, i.e., Snow's the savior because...she is pure. That's all.
4. The dwarves. I'm probably alone on this, but casting normal-sized people and then CGIing them to be midgets bugged me on a ton of levels. They couldn't find actors who were *actually* that size? I mean, sure, having the likes of Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, and Nick Frost is a great opportunity, but it just feels so wrong to me.
5. The really, uber creepy relationship between the queen and her brother. Maybe if the actors had been better, I would've bought it. As it was, I just flinched every time it got referenced. Which was too often.
6. The ambiguous ending. If it wanted to twist the whole true love's kiss saving Snow, it needed more explanation. I like the idea that it's the rebirth of the huntsman's belief in the power of life and good that is strong enough to bring her back, but Snow's ambivalence toward William makes it very hard to know if maybe she's falling for the Huntsman and it really was true love's kiss (in which case, blech, the latter idea is far more interesting).
I might end up being in the minority on this movie, though Alicia and her friend didn't like it either.