Much as I desperately wanted to love one of the rare fantasy movies post-LotR, this movie is a haphazard cobbling together of a range of poorly conceived or borrowed ideas, stricken with some terrible acting, largely from the overrated Kirsten Stewart.
Starting with the bad, Kirsten Stewart is terrible from start to finish, from badly delivered lines through to some tortured looking facial expressions when she's supposed to be acting charming it takes virtually the whole sidecast repeatedly assuring us that she is beautiful to convince us of something that *she* as the main character should have been doing with her acting, as a result its difficult to really give a damn about her character and she lurches from adventure to adventure.
Secondly, there are a lot of sequences that result in nothing, giving a general 'what was the point in that' feel to a lot of the time the characters spend romping in the woods. Forget the obvious Miyazaki inspiration when it comes to the enchanted forest sequence (you'll know it when you see it) there are quite a few occasions when the film seems to explore an idea, only to abandon it and never revisit it again.
Throw in an incredibly anticlimatic ending that feels like it was thrown together in about 5 minutes of writers time and we have all the makings of a turkey, right?
Despite its lumbering female lead, and her unconvincing love interest(s) there is plenty to like, the film is visually stunning with some absolutely beautiful scenes in it. The imagination in some of the (sadly later abandoned) scenes is pretty good as well.
However head and shoulders above this is Charlize Therons performance as the Evil Queen, she puts Kirsten Stewart firmly in the shade and delivers an excellent performance in every scene she's in, very much stealing the show and frankly making her the main reason to watch this film in the first place.
Better yet, rather then being a lazy 'Evil Queen because Evil is fun!' archetype there is both backstory and moments for her to display a warmer side (specifically to her brother, who sadly, is a lazy archetype) which makes a welcome change from more traditional fairytale villains.
What will be the determining factor of whether you watch this is a) how much you like Kirsten Stewart and b) how desperate you are for another fantasy film, if the answer to both is 'a lot' then this may be the film for you.
If not, and your morbidly curious, wait for the price to drop. You'll regret splashing a lot of money on this film..