Relativity Media fires the first salvo in the battle of the Snow Whites with this weekend’s release of Mirror Mirror. Does this family-friendly version of the classic fairy tale have the cajones to go toe-to-toe with the darker, grittier Snow White and the Huntsman? Only time will tell, but my instincts tell me…no.
You already know the basic storyline: the king’s wife dies, leaving him with a beautiful young daughter with skin as white as snow, lips red a rubies and hair black as night. The king marries a beautiful but wicked woman, then disappears. The evil queen uses her magic mirror to maintain control of the land and eventually learns that Snow White is destined to rule unless she does away with her. Snow is taken to the deep dark woods where she encounters seven little men who help her reclaim her rightful throne. And there’s something in there about a handsome prince, a poisoned apple and love’s first kiss.
Julia Roberts is just ‘meh’ in the role of the evil queen while newcomer Lily Collins fully inhabits the role of Snow White. Armie Hammer does a terrific job as the handsome prince. Pardon the pun, but he hams it up for all he’s worth, providing many of the films laughs. The guy is handsome, but is perfectly willing to play goofy. He reminds me a lot of a young Brendon Fraiser, and I mean that as a compliment.
The seven diamond-mining dwarves are replaced by seven rob-from-the-rich-give-to-the…well, rob-from-the-rich-and-keep-it-for-themselves dwarves. It seems the queen banned all ‘uglies’ from the kingdom, reducing these once proud, working-class men to the only option they had to survive – thievery.
This film is beautiful to look at, and provides plenty of fun for younger viewer, and adults will get a a few laughs out of it. There are some positive messages about doing what’s right (i.e. stealing is bad). The costumes are sumptuous and the sets are grand, but somehow it just doesn’t seem like the actors are having as much fun as they should. With everything else in the film completely over the top, I would have expected something more, particularly from Julia Roberts, who just didn’t seem to fully embrace the role.
Mirror Mirror is rated PG for some fantasy action and mild rude humor, and there are a couple of scary scenes that might be a bit much for the wee tykes. Overall the film is made for viewing by the whole family, and on the whole it succeeds, particularly for families with kids in elementary school or younger.