Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mirror Mirror: Late Film Review

Mirror Mirror

Cast: Julia Roberts, Lilly Collins

Writers: Marc Klien, Jason Keller,Mellissa Wallaick

Director: Tarsem Singh

** out of four

Let me start off this review by stating that the animated "Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs" is a lot  darker in both tone and style than this one.  This is a very light, children's version of the beloved storybook fable.  It looks visually stunning, with both set pieces and use of color.  I just wish the story and dialogue could have been better executed.

The movie begins with a gorgeous animated sequence that I wish was used in the entire film.  The story and set design would have been used to great effect if they continued on with the same animated style.  The intro is narrated by Queen Gertrude (Julia Roberts) who, in her monologue, explains what a wonderful kingdom she has and that everything in her life is just wonderful.  Her perfect life comes crashing down with the arrival of her step-daughter, Snow White (Lilly Collins).  In order to obtain her youth, the queen will need to cut out Snow White's heart and feed upon it (I forget what words they use to replace what I just said, but you get the general idea). So she gets her lowly servant, played by Nathan Lane, to do it.  As in all other stories, he becomes entranced by Snow White's beauty and decides to let her go.  Later on, she meets up with seven dwarfs and a prince (Armie Hammer) who decide to take on the queen themselves.

For a movie that is made for little kids, I genuinely enjoyed this.  There was nothing I found particularly bad or cringe-worthy, but nothing I found to be worth praising either.  The way they changed some of the aspects of both the characters and story were clever, but never outstanding.  Mellissa Wallaick is being credited as the one who wrote the story and she has only one other movie before this called "Meet Bill".  I can't help thinking that if this were done by someone with a few more titles under their name, it could have been just a bit better.

The Cast, for the most part, were good.  Nathan Lane and Armie Hammer have some of the best comedic moments, but also have some of the worst ones, too.  The seven dwarfs use devices on their legs to make them appear taller than they usually are and I liked that they were described as being thieves.  However,  I found their personalities to be very one dimensional.  I realize that they are supposed to be the comic relief, but every little joke they told barely made me chuckle.  Julia Roberts was funny in this and it was good to see the Oscar winner ham it up a little.  As for Lilly Collins, she has the best look of any Snow White I have seen this year.  When I think of this character, and what she would look like in real life, "Mirror, Mirror" and Lilly's face are the first things that come to mind.  I just wish her performance would have been a little less wooden.  Her song during the ending credits was the best thing about her role.

The set design by Tom Foden (Nine Inch Nails "Closer" video, "One Hour Photo") is really good and gives that storybook feel to the movie.  Both him and Director Tarsem worked together on "The Cell", and it was nice to see them work on a completely different genre .

In closing, of all the movies that are made for kids each year, this one at least caused me the least amount of pain.


  1. This review actually makes me want to see it! I really like The Cell, the designs and all the colors and surreal details were awesome, it will be interesting to see this style in fairytale realm.

    1. The look of the movie is what impressed me the most. If it had a better script it would have been a lot more fun. Thanks for the comment Sati.

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