For those unversed in the age-old Brothers Grimm tale, Sanders' fantasy follows the plight of the virginal Snow White (Stewart), a young princess unrivalled throughout the land in terms of purity and beauty. In the aftermath of a bloody coup against her father, instigated by her treacherous stepmother Ravenna (Theron), Snow is kept under lock and key until it transpires only she can end the evil Queen's tyrannical reign. After a fortunate escape, Snow sets about uniting the kingdom with the aid of Eric the Huntsman (Hemsworth), childhood sweetheart William (Sam Claflin) and eight plucky dwarves.
Sanders attempts to juggle far too many redundant bit-part roles, with Claflin's William brought in as a potential, if puny love rival for Snow's fair heart. This hastily erected love triangle swiftly collapses, with seemingly no animosity between the two male leads and only one recognisable line between the two. Far from the operatic threesome of The Twilight Saga, this complete non-starter of a subplot seems a cynical addition to wrangle in the teen market, already present to see Stewart and Hemsworth frolic in the deep, dark forests.
Sanders' commercial director past looms large over SWATH, which at times resembles a multi-million dollar perfume ad set in a fantastical, medieval-inflected world. Yet the central performances shine through and there is just enough humour (almost all of it from the well-drawn, well-designed and often comical dwarves who count Eddie Marsan, Ray Winstone and Nick Frost in their ranks) in Snow White and the Huntsman to avoid too many accusations of adolescent grumpiness.