As I wrote about back in November, there are two new movies based on the beloved Snow White tale. The first one to hit theaters opens today, March 30. It is Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror. Singh is an interesting choice as he is a visual director, best known for last year’s hit Immortals and 2000’s J.Lo flick, The Cell. Neither of these films are children oriented. Then, there is the issue of the trailer. There have been some bad trailers and marketing this year. So, I went in to this with low expectations.
Mirror Mirror tells the familiar story of Snow White with a few twists. It opens with The Queen (Julia Roberts) giving a voice over of the history of Snow White. Snow White’s mother died during her birth. The King then married The Queen. The King left, and went missing, leaving The Queen to rule the kingdom. It has been ten years, and Snow White is about to celebrate her eighteenth birthday.
Now in the present day, the kingdom is in financial ruin, and The Queen must marry a rich royal from somewhere to keep it afloat. Snow White (Lily Collins) is locked in her room, and never leaves the castle. So, of course she leaves the castle.
Meanwhile, Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) and Renbock (Robert Emms) his squire are jumped in the woods by bandits. These bandits are the seven dwarves: Napoleon, Half Pint, Grub, Grimm, Wolf, Butcher and Chuckles. He is strung up with Renbock, and rescued by Snow White who has finally left the castle.
Alcott makes his way to the castle, and meets The Queen. She decides to throw a ball to win him over. Snow White crashes the ball, is banished, joins forces with the dwarves, and plots to usurp The Queen.
Mirror Mirror stuns visually as I expected, but lacks in its script. It tries too hard to be childish. If Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller could have settled on what demographic they were attempting to please, then the movie might have flowed better. Some of the jokes were funny, and then they were beaten down to where a two year old would find it funny. Just start down that low, and it might have worked out better. Some of the better jokes are the subtle ones. One that stuck with me comes when Snow White asks the dwarves why they are thieves. One replies, “Beats working in the mines.”
The acting is amazingly decent all around. Julia Roberts is surprisingly funny as is Lily Collins. Armie Hammer put in the best performance in the film while Nathan Lane is a bit over the top as the Queens right hand man, Brighton. And then, Sean Bean puts in a nice cameo at the end. Who doesn’t love 006?
At the time I went into the screening of Mirror Mirror, it had a 93% on Rottentomatoes. As I write this review, it is struggling to stay above 50%. That is quite a fall, and I am shocked that it fell so far so fast. I was entertained, but it is far from a great movie. I hope that this June’s Snow While and the Huntsman is better than this. If you have a child that is too young to take to The Hunger Games, you could do worse.