When I perused the production notes of "Mirror Mirror" and then "Snow White and the Huntsman", I was taken aback that Tarsem Singh's take on the Grimm tale gave writing credits to the Brothers Grimm while the darker Rupert Sanders version, did not.


After all, it is widely known that the original Snow White was a rather dark story filled with betrayal, murder, jealousy and greed. It was amazing that Disney managed to make it into an innocent tale for children. Though Singh's "Mirror Mirror" followed the Grimm story, it made it particularly light with lots of comical overtones.


So surely, this darker version would adhere to the Brothers Grimm version. But why didn't they get writing credits?

Well, that may be one of the few things that Sanders did right - not insult the Grimms by attaching this mess to their name. While it follows the story outline, it sinks with a series of disconnected scenes.


Charlize Theron is the evil queen Ravenna, who after marrying the widowed King Magnus (Noah Huntley) - quickly kills him and ascends to the throne as queen. In Singh's version, she changes the king into a beast and claims he dissappeared. This is the first indication the film is taking a darker route.


After consulting her trusted magic mirror (which is more like a gong that transforms into a golden Terminator 2), Ravenna imprisons the late king's daughter Snow White in the castle tower until Snow White grows up to be Kristen Stewart's Snow White. After the mirror later tells Ravenna that Snow White is the fairest in the kingdom and that her fairness will deplete Ravenna of her power, Ravenna quickly orders Snow White to be brought to her so that she can consume her beating heart.


This is a deviation from the story which had the queen ordering a huntsman to take Snow White to the forest to kill her. In both cases Snow White escapes death and finds herself in the forest - The Dark Forest. The queen immediately hires a local huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to find White and return her for the heart consuming ritual.

Instead, after he finds Snow White, he falls for her not knowing whom she is. They takle refuge with the seven dwarves who are also darker. In fact, their initial intent is to kill the two trespassers.


The film continues with a seemingly unlimited supply of special effects, but a very limited supply of continuity. Sanders was clearly influenced by John Boorman's "Excalibur" but fails to achieve a cohesive narrative.


Sanders casts a stellar troupe of talent, especially when it comes to the dwarfs. Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Toby Jones and Brian Gleeson had their heads to computer generated shrunken bodies and not half the personality of the dwarfs from "Mirror Mirror" and definitely missing the Disney mark.


Sam Claflin plays her childhood friend William who regrets leaving her with the queen when he and his fatehr fled the kingdom - yet he starts his quest to find her by joining the ranks of the queens equally evil brother.


And although you assume there should be some chemistry between Snow White and her various pursuers, the only one she seems to believably bond with is the CGI troll whom she tames by just looking at him.


"Snow White and The Huntsman" is a classic case of a movie falling in on itself. It takes a perfectly clear time-honored story and jumbles it up with needless special effects.   -- GEOFF BURTON