In Snow White and the Huntsman, Charlize Theron plays an achingly beautiful queen, and Kristen Stewart plays Jesus.

Actually, Stewart plays Snow White, but by the time you've seen her recite the Lord's Prayer (in full), wander a thorny wilderness, sacrifice herself for the love of her lessers and then appear — resurrected! — to lead a war against the Evil One, you'll wonder why first-time director Rupert Sanders left out the part about walking on water and making the blind see.

What's so awkward about Stewart playing Jesus, aside from the obvious? Well, after four years of playing the quintessentially virginal Bella Swan, in an adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's uncomfortable allegory of becoming the quintessential wife and mother (maybe you've heard of it?), Stewart seems to want desperately to be out of the "role model" mold. Just listen to the reports of what she does in On The Road if you don't believe me. But no matter how many swords she wields, Snow White is, aside from being the lamest Disney princess, a little girl's role model par excellence, and Stewart plays her as high and mighty, not human and complicated.

Theron, meanwhile, suffers from the opposite problem in this film. Her Queen Ravenna (pause. Raven. get it?) possesses all the tempting beauty and fierceness of a queen, but none of the delicious nastiness. Ravenna is so serious, so depressed, so darkly and dully isolated from pleasure that we do feel sorry for her, Charlize, we do. But that's a knight's move in the wrong direction, if you ask me. Why not a queen we envy more than we pity? Why put so much work into showing the queen's sublime powers without allowing her, and us, to enjoy them?

And that's by far the most disappointing thing about Snow White and the Huntsman — how hollow it is. The logic that makes one event follow the next is obscure, particularly in relation to Chris Hemsworth's character, the noble huntsman. First he's a crazy rebel widower, then he's a reluctant mercenary, then suddenly he's the protective older-brother type. No surprise that, by the end, he's full-on Prince Charming.

I'm being careless with spoilers here, but don't despair: there's nothing in Snow White and the Huntsman that would surprise you, anyway, except how utterly lackluster it manages to be despite its luxe special effects, which are delectably concentrated in the two-minute trailer and infuriatingly dispersed throughout this humorless, uninspired, 127-minute slog of a film.

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