Snow White and the Huntsman resurrects the dirt and anguish of folk tale origins, where victory was often hard won by wit, bravery and wisdom. Thankfully, I think, the movie also honours the romantic notions and dreamy beauty gifted to us by the Brothers Grimm and Disney.
They were hard-edged, those folk tales, as they attempted to account for the shadier sides of life; and Snow White and the Huntsman, as gorgeously hopeful as it is, is very much told for an adult audience.
Kristen Stewart admirably keeps that Twilight sulk to its barest minimum as the imprisoned Snow White, her father and kingdom having both been taken and broken by Charlize Theron's magnificently distorted Queen Ravena. Snow White escapes, as imprisoned princesses do, and finds herself on the run in the dark forest with that dashing Summer Bay escapee Chris Hemsworth, as the unhappily drunk Huntsman. The forest is as rancid as Ravena's heart, even she doesn't want to go there, but then Snow White is not one to underestimate.
While I am becoming something of a Chris Hemsworth fan, the best of the movie happens in the play between Stewart and Theron. The heroine earns her place through grit and dignity, while the Evil Queen exposes the physiological depth and history to cut a compellingly tormented and dangerous figure.
Colleen Atwood (Tim Burton's favoured costume designer) keeps to her high standards, creating, with director Rupert Sanders and all others on the production team, a brooding and character driven fantasy that holds its balance between shadow and light.
And if all that fails to entice you - simply go to enjoy Mr Hemsworth.