Mirror Mirror benefits from the low expectation syndrome, but does not quite overcome it. This is one of those movies where you ask the question, “Why?” Yes, from a purely budget and numbers perspectives you can see why a studio would want to make this film. They got Julia Roberts and re-imagining fairy tales is all the rage now. Especially retailing Snow White.
We have Snow White on TV in Once Upon A Time, in the theater in that other Snow White film that we shall not name and now Mirror Mirror. The hook of this version is the idea that this movie is supposed to be from the point of view of the Queen (Julia Roberts). So unless you really love Julia stay away from this movie. She chews scenery in almost every frame of this 90 minute exercise.
When did Julia Roberts stop being the Julia Roberts that we know and love? She looks a bit old and tired. This movie rises and falls on her shoulders, unfortunately it largely falls. It seems like she is just going through the motions. Even though the story is from her point of view we never get much depth from her. Her motivations are all paint by the numbers. She’s spoiled, needs money and wants a rich Prince to bail her out of trouble.
The world crafted by Director Tarsem Singh is flat, muted and kind of lifeless. It looks like a medium budget production and lacks a real sense of vision, which is strange considering this is the man who brought us the 300 knock off The Immortals. While that movie was a mess, it did have vision.
Other than Roberts the cast does not readily jump out at you. Lily Collins is a serviceable Snow White, but she never commands the screen nor your attention like the “most beautiful girl in the world” should. It could be because half the movie she is wearing ridiculous dresses that swallow up her small frame and diminishes her. The only time she seems really comfortable is when she’s with the dwarves and in sensible clothes.
I do like that she does not become a warrior Princesses after the dwarves train her to be a thief, she still manages to come across as stronger, more confident, but still maintain a vulnerability. Like Snow, her Prince Charming is a bit vapid and lifeless as well. Armie Hammer does not have much chemistry with Collins, so ultimately I never cared about these two.
There is a groan inducing moment towards the end where the Prince gets doused with a love potion – which turns out to be Puppy Love. He spends a good 20 minutes of the movie running around like a puppy. What made anyone involved in this movie think this was funny or “appropriate?” The tone of this movie is all over the place. It works well when it is trying to be a serious movie, but then the lame jokes ruin everything.
Watching this, I kept thinking all the elements are here, “Why am I not liking it?” The answer is simple Singh crafted a fairy tale world that no one wants to be in.
Final Grade C-