I have to admit that I went to the screening of this prequel/sequel to Snow White and The Huntsman with a fair amount of trepidation. The fact that media preview was on the same day (April 4) as its cinema release implied that this could be a bit of a hard slog.

Added to that, I'm no fan of fantasy tales with swords, sorcery and shaggy hair, so the fact that I found The Huntsman: Winter's War a bearable two hours at the cinema came as quite a relief.

Based on the characters from the classic fairy tale Snow White, as well as The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, there was the odd 'Mirror, mirror, on the wall' moment, but in essence this is a love story and an action tale of redemption, with Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Nick Frost and Sam Claflin reprising their roles from the first film, released in 2012.

Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Colin Morgan and Rob Brydon join in the fun, but this is really Hemsworth's film, although Blunt runs him a close second despite a lot less screen time.

In a nutshell, the tale begins long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Theron) ran into Snow White. Back then her sister Freya - the Ice Queen, played by Blunt - was betrayed and fled their kingdom. Freya then spent years in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly Huntsmen and women, including Eric (Hemsworth, with an accent that's two parts stage Scots and one part Sly Stallone) and warrior Sara (Chastain), who defy their queen by falling in love.

Operating somewhere between Once Upon a Time and Game of Thrones, the adventure bounds along with a lot of energy, the odd witty line, nice scenery and some obligatory sprinkles of CGI magic.

But, really, it's for genre fans or rainy day viewing.