This film was just okay. As Jonathan said, I didn't really leave feeling disappointed, but was certainly not fulfilled by the experience.
First off, the casting of the characters was very good indeed - all of the three leads fit their roles very well. Charlize was stunning, regal and demented, Chris was suitably buff, rugged, but fundamentally good, and Kristen was pure, vulnerable, but with a decent sense of steel (although her 'summoning speech' at the 3/4 mark was a bit awkward). Any worries that Charlize's evident beauty would completely outshine Kristen's, with her new title of 'fairest in the land', were (in my opinion) unecessary - it's easy to forget what a beautiful young woman Kristen Stewart really is.
Another obvious positive was that it was just phenomenal to look at. I actually haven't seen 2010's 'Alice In Wonderland' (about to watch it now, actually), but I actually feel like the CGI/graphics in this film were perhaps even more stunning than that of 'Avatar''s. Such a treat for the eyes. But...
... it was certainly more style over substance - as I had feared - but perhaps not as much as it could've been. It just didn't really give me anything at all - it was all rather hollow. The characters were incredibly flimsy, and despite clearly having the best character, and being the best actress, I actually felt like Charlize overacted her part. Just a little. Her barking at her servants to leave the room so that she could speak to her mirror felt a little bit over the top, considering that it was only about 30 minutes in.
Then again, who could blame her, given that two of the main characters (Snow White and her childhood sweetheart a.k.a. Prince Charming) had absolutely zero personality whatsoever. I actually do not criticise Kristen Stewart for her portrayal, because the poor woman was literally given nothing to work with. I wasn't exactly expecting 'Snow White' to have a fucking fantastic personality, but perhaps a little bit of wit? Sass, perhaps? And the heat between the completely forgettable Prince Charming and Snow White was so tepid that there wasn't even the smallest hint of danger between the love triangle. There wasn't even the remotest conflict/competition between the Prince and the Huntsman, whose outpouring over Snow White's (HERE BE SPOILERS, BUT LET'S FACE IT, YOU KNOW THE STORY) dead body felt like a shift from second to fifth gear in one big, clunky swoop. A nice parallel could've been drawn there - just as the Queen was on a quest for Snow White's heart, so were these two men, battling it out. But... no. However, for light relief, there was always Chris Hemsworth's accent to analyse. An 80% Aberdonian, 20% Australian, 10% American accent was rather peculiar to hear! Kristen's accent was actually pretty impeccable, so well done to her.
I was somewhat surprised at how rigidly they stuck to the story. Perhaps they felt like they may have been slaughtered if they'd tampered too heavily with the classic tale, but it was a lot more conventional than I thought it would be - the edginess was purely left to the visuals. As such, I felt like there was more than a little padding going on. By the time she has reached that bloody stag thing, I was literally screaming in my head, 'WE GET IT. WE KNOW SHE'S ALL FUCKING GOOD AND PURE AND SHIT. MOVE ON.'
The Dwarves were such a strange addition, caught clumsily in a place where they couldn't be too funny (it wasn't that kind of film), but couldn't exactly be strong, bold and deadly serious (sadly, a shrunken Nick Frost hardly seems very imposing next to the 6'3" walking tank that is Chris Hemsworth). Because of this, I found it very hard to get attached to any of them. So *HERE BE SPOILERS* when 'the nice one' died (I actually predicted that one would go when I noticed in the 'hanging upside down' scene that there were eight of them), I felt absolutely no emotion whatsoever. Dobby (MAY HE FOREVER REST IN PEACE) can be, err... rest assured that he is still No.1 in the 'Small Sidekick's Death in a Blockbuster Department'.
As mentioned here, the 'brother' storyline was perhaps the most unusual and interesting thread throughout. But just as we were getting to something interesting, the film completely threw it away! I was also surprised to see him again after believing that he had melted in a pool of goo in the Dark Forest - awkwardly, it was neither a huge return, nor something that could simply just be ignored.
Overall, when the 110 minutes (or whatever it was) were up, I couldn't help but feeling that a reshuffle of priorities and pacing could've helped to have used the time much, much better. Despite all of my criticisms, it certainly wasn't a bad film, but just not one that I'd be too excited to see again. It was like tucking into the most gorgeous piece of hand-crafted chocolate cake that you've ever seen in a Michelin Star restaurant, only to discover that it tastes almost identical to the Tesco own-brand one that you have every Sunday after your roast.
It gets a 5/6 out of 10 from me.