GRADE: 3 out of 5
MIRROR MIRROR is.. think if Snow White Tale was a sitcom. Families are going to have much fun watching this. I had low expectation coming in, but I was impressed with some of the spectacle that director Tarsem Singh came up with and the new spin Lily Collins is luminous as Snow White. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Sure the film's got lavish costumes and majestic scenery but there's something visually arresting about Collins. If they ever made a biopic on Audrey Hepburn, Collins should be the star. The dwarfs are hilarious. Fantastic group of people. The weakest link is Armie Hammer as the prince, his bumbling, comical performance just doesn't cut it. MIRROR MIRROR is a bit silly for my taste but,.. it's a Singh presentation where imagination knows no bounds.
Visionary director Tarsem Singh (Immortals) rewrites fairy tale history as a wicked enchantress (Roberts) schemes and scrambles for control of a spirited orphan’s (Collins) throne and the attention of a charming prince (Hammer). When Snow White’s beauty wins the heart of the prince that she desperately pursues, the Queen banishes her to the forest, where a ravening man-eating beast hungrily awaits. Rescued by a band of diminutive highway robbers, Snow White grows into an indomitable young woman determined to take back her realm from the treacherous Queen. With the support of her subjects, she roars into action in an epic battle that blends spectacle, magic and contemporary humor in Singh’s signature, jaw-dropping visual style.
How many versions of SNOW WHITE tale exist out there? Probably too many to count, one thing for sure is that there are two Snow White films this summer, and MIRROR MIRROR is the one that chose the lighthearted direction. Singh brought us The Cell and The Fall, two of the most visually mindblowing films I've ever seen, I didn't care much for Immortals, so we're going to leave that one out. So with MIRROR MIRROR, Singh incorporates his eye for splendor into this story that seems to be high on caffeine because it's just full of energy. At one point, the prince acts like a puppy, at another the dwarfs fight off giant hand puppets, and many other situations that make you wonder how much more odd can it get, even the costumes practically compete with those featured in The Hunger Games film.
Whatever version of Snow White may be, at the very heart of it has always been about the queen wanting to stay fair, beautiful and young and then the envy that comes with that. In MIRROR MIRROR, Julia Roberts embodies that motivation for vanity. Roberts is absolutely wicked as the queen and because the movie's tone is not grim or dark, Roberts' job gets even heavier because she has the responsibility to show the audience that her character can command just about anything and she doesn't need anybody's permission. Lily Collins's acting talent may not be on the same level as Roberts' but she doesn't need to try too hard to come off enchanting and sympathetic because there's something in her appearance and the way she carries herself that already personifies such young, innocent qualities. Whenever Collins steps into the screen, everything seems to light up. But the winner of MIRROR MIRROR are the seven dwarfs. You get new characters in this version and each of them stands out. You'll finish watching this movie, walking out of the theaters, being a fan of one or two of those dwarfs because they'd steal the scenes and they'd steal your heart.
One way to look at MIRROR MIRROR is that it's female empowerment story. It's Snow White Vs. Evil Queen and you get to see how each influences those around them either negatively or positively. The humor doesn't always work at the same time but it will tickle the easily amused, at the very best you'd find yourself giggling. The CG and VFX might get overbearing at times, but what else do you expect from a Singh presentation anyway. The world created or designed for this film is nothing short of royal and extravagant. Is MIRROR MIRROR a better snow white movie than Snow White And The Huntsman, it's arguable, but MIRROR MIRROR has made itself unique, and memorable