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The Huntsman: Winter's War

(Image credit: Giles Keyte)

Chris Hemsworth returns as the title Huntsman in a fantasy that does duty as both prequel and sequel to 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman

Chris Hemsworth returns as the title Huntsman in a fantasy that does duty as both prequel and sequel to 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman.

This new adventure casts aside Kristen Stewart's kick-ass heroine and gives Charlize Theron's wicked queen Ravenna much less to do.

The villain of the piece this time is Emily Blunt's ice queen Freya, Ravenna's sister, who started out nice but has turned bad after a tragedy froze her heart.

The job of stopping her evil designs falls to Hemsworth and fellow huntsperson Sara (Jessica Chastain), both of whom were abducted as children to serve in Freya's kingdom-conquering army.

Along the way, they pick up some comic-relief sidekicks - a quartet of squabbling dwarves played by Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith and Alexander Roach, who fill in gaps in the action with battle-of-the-sexes badinage.

Hemsworth and Chastain's derring-do is fairly routine so it's left to Blunt and Theron's fabulously attired siblings to save the movie.