“Mirror Mirror” – Review by Christian Becker

After years and years of 2D cartoons being Disney’s main production, all the stories are now being told as a live action adventure. Alice In Wonderland started the trend a few years back, and while I may not have been a fan of it, it’s still pretty cool to see these old classics come to life with the use of live action. The next entry is Mirror Mirror, a tale of Snow White and the evil queen in a magical kingdom. Visually, it’s exciting and fun to look at. Anywhere you turn there is something pleasing to look at and it all makes you feel like a part of this fantasy world. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is not as strong.

The best part about Mirror Mirror are it’s visuals, that is obvious. The director, Tarsem Singh (director of The Cell and last year’s, Immortals) , is known for creating very visually oriented films. The kingdom looks absolutely stunning and so does the forrest and even the mirror room where the Queen must recite her ever famous line “Mirror mirror on the wall, whose the fairest of them all”? Well, she never actually says that last part, but you get the idea. In a nutshell, everything is nice to look at and i would not be surprised to see this movie show up at the Oscars for a best costume or makeup nomination.

The writing is cheesy, no question about it. But at least the acting was not as bad as I thought it might be. Lily Collins was beyond words awful in last year’s Abduction, so I figured she couldn’t be any better. Well, she actually fit the role well. She did nothing amazing, but it was nice to see her as Snow White and she never got as annoying as she looks. Armie Hammer is pretty much the same exact way. He talks in this high and mighty deep voice (apparently that’s how every Prince is suppose to sound), but it was actually humorous at a lot of times. It’s a real shame he wasn’t outstanding though, because this could have been his third terrific performance in a row, right behind The Social Network and J.Edger. The one I did actually have an issue with was Julia Roberts. She just seemed as awkward playing the Queen because she tried to be both menacing and funny, but turned out to be neither.

Now, back to the way it was scripted. I like the idea of a live action Snow White movie, i really do. However, this story, just like Robert’s performance, was really awkward. It tried to hard to be funny in all kinds of spots, but the jokes just didn’t work out. most examples of this can be found in the banter of the seven dwarfs and Nathan Lane was the Queen’s royal slave. (What? That’s what he is).

I may not be the target audience for this movie, but that doesn’t mean I don’t expect a decent story with my film, whether it be a kids movie or not. This was just not a compelling or interesting story. We are suppose to sympathize with Snow White and Prince because the Queen is about to marry him and Snow is in love with him (and vis versa), but they only actually had a good 5-10 minutes of screen time together before these emotions were stirred up and now were suppose to root for them to be together. A little to forced if you ask me. There is a small portion of the story having to do with a small village that has gone into poverty because of the Queen’s reign, but after the half way point the town, and the people in it, are never bought back or discussed again. i would have liked to have seen more of them and more of the magical landscape than dreadful scenes with Julia Roberts interaction with the Prince or her silly little man slave.

Mirror Mirror has fun parts to it that younger kids will probably enjoy. It’s got great visual effects, silly characters and light story and a short running time that seems to be custom made for that audience. But to me, the great live action classic Disney story has still yet to be made. Mirror Mirror didn’t anger to the point of hating it, but it did disappoint me because it just felt like one missed opportunity after another and far from enchanting. Lets hope this summer’s Snow White and the Huntsman can be a actual hit, or else the tale of Snow White will only be remembered as the “the story that could have been”.

Grade: C+

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