Mirror Mirror: Review
I’m not going to even try to explain the premise of this movie because if you don’t already know what Snow White is then, well, get out of my house! Go on! Get! So yes, Mirror Mirror is based “loosely” on the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Of course, it isn’t just a simple remake, but a re-imagining of the story as told with a kickass princess finally sticking it to the evil witch.
That, well, pretty much sums it up. You have Snow White, the initial damsel in distress, locked away in a castle by the illegitimate queen that’s been sucking away the wealth of the people to finance her lavish soirees. Then you get that modern bit where the damsel becomes the dynamo with some 80s montage pumping up and confronts her evil step mother in an epic battle. While I hate to say it, it does play into the more modern day role reversal (the anti-mario if you will) that isn’t bad, just a tad over done. And even then, (oh btw spoilers) barely gets to use her new found powers of self confidence to “slay” the bad guys. For the last part of the movie, I was expecting some major Kill Bill butt kickery, but it seemed to let me down quite a bit with a lackluster boss battle. It’s like having a quicktime event on the final stage of a game; quite a bit less pizazz than you were expecting.
Some of the other features of the movie were especially confusing. For a picturegraph titled “Mirror Mirror”, you would expect a deeper level of development with this mysterious and magical artifact. Instead, we get some sort of adapted lore that never gets explained. I get the whole “leave some to the imagination” thing, but you don’t make a movie called Pelican Brief and not have any under pants in it… Hmm, that was especially off topic. Point being, it’s like Lord of the Rings and not explaining what the ring is. The scenes with the mirror were very magical indeed; a whole new adaptation that was very intriguing, but it did little to explain why the queen has a doppelganger and what happened to Jambi. Is she a witch? Does she have a split personality? What’s going on here! Maybe there’s something deeper I was supposed to pick up, but I still feel that the “mirror mirror” part was never explored deeply enough to catch my interest.
Now, all this might sound pretty bad and you’d expect a low rating like so many have given it, but, well… It was a good movie! It was fun! And I absolutely loved it! The visuals were quite fantastic; such as the scenes with the castle overlooking a frozen lake and even the design of the forest house. (Ok, one thing bugs me… Who the hell builds a castle on a cliff over a lake?! Very poor urban planning if I do say so myself!) One thing with the visuals is that they take place in a very inclosed setting. You have the castle, the forest, the tree house, and the town… And the mirror village thing, but like 99% of that looked cg so it doesn’t count. I can appreciate the economies of film production, but I could do well with a little more diversity in the setting. That said, the areas that were involved were amazingly crafted! The palace was extensively lavish and decadent. I would hire those interior designers in a heart beat; once I win the lotto of course. And a lot of care was taken with every scene. As an artist, I can find little fault with any frame and its composition. Very well done I say!
The acting was pretty alright. And I mean that in the best of ways. I wouldn’t say everyone gave an Oscar winning hard hitting tear dropping performance, but for what it was, not bad guys. Julia Roberts and Nathan Lane play off each other very well! I’d love to see more of them together in the future. Lily Collins, once I got the robotic lyrics of In The Air Tonight out of my head, has quickly become one of my new favorites. She might be a little green behind the ears, but she has some good skill and definitely the look to go far. In fact, throughout her portrayal of Snow White, I couldn’t help but see strong similarities to Audrey Hepburn, whether intentional or not. And in my book… That’s a very good thing! Armie Hammer played his role to a comical tee as the prince you’d love to drop kick if you ever met him in real life. I don’t think it’s hard to imagine his character with a double layer of popped collar polos and some khakis. Not bashing the guy, no; he did a great job of playing the pompous prince that probably annoyed everyone as a child. Then there’s Julia… Let’s just say, I hope my marriage proposal doesn’t get lost in the mail. She did an amazing job and really carried the movie through. Can’t say much more than that; she looked like she had a lot of fun with the role and pulled out the most evil witch (spelled with a “b”) character that you’ll fall madly in love with.
This isn’t going to be one of those ground breaking movies that changes all the rules and you’ll be buying the gold box collectors edition BluRay of… BUT, it is a good movie if you are in the mood for some laughs and a decent revamp of an old classic. (And honestly here, I was never much of a fan of the original, so this goes in my books as probably the best rendition yet.) Then again, you’ll probably be too busy enamored with Julia, crinkles and all, to even notice any of the movies negatives.
Mirror Mirror and all subsequent imagery are © 2011 Relativity Media, LLC.