Beautiful women, fantastic costumes, and epic battles; ultimately wasted on an unnecessary prequel/sequel that is just as messy and incompetent as we feared, and as the reviews indicated. It's hard to know who this is even aimed at. The first Snow White at least could get a pass as being a 'teen' movie for the Twilight demographic. This isn't that. It's not a kids film either; far too violent, sexualised and at times frightening for children (not to mention having bursts of completely jarring and inappropriate profanity). And it's fairytale tropes and clichés are far too childish for this to pass muster as any kind of grown-up fantasy. It's another made-by-committee corporate effort that wants to tick every genre box from comedy dwarves, to Lord of the Rings sorcery, to Game of Thrones violence and Disneyfied magical queens and castles. Frozen, as it would play out in Westeros.
Hemsworth tries again to be a roguish reluctant hero (yawn) but comes across as a self satisfied bore. Jessica Chastain's athleticism and acting ability are fatally hobbled by her failure to grapple with a Scottish (why?) accent. And the four tiresome comic relief Dwarves (all with other provincial British accents) are useless and superfluous.
It's only worth watching for Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron, who give it their best shot and who both look stunning as Ice Queen Freya and Evil Sorceress Ravenna respectively. The former is a crueller, yet more demure Elsa; while the latter once again goes full seductive psycho-witch from hell (the highlight of Snow White & The Huntsman). To enjoy them however you need to slog through a boring adventure with the rest of the characters as they bicker and fall out on a dull woodland quest to do something-or-other.
An unwanted and unnecessary sequel, only bearable for two delicious divas and a couple of good fight scenes. If you can live without that, its best avoided. Winters War is a prime example of everything that's gone wrong in 2016's disastrous blockbuster summer.
Let it go.