Hollywood’s newest trend of re-telling classic fairy tales is thus far a mediocre attempt at best. After the unbearable Red Riding Hood, the newest submission, Mirror, Mirror, is slightly better.
It’s really hard to tell who the target audience is forMirror Mirror. At certain points, it would have worked better if they had simply animated the whole thing. At other moments, it seemed they were trying to make an exciting action movie. Unfortunately, the dull fight choreography paired with uninspired direction leave something to be desired.
It also must be said that the casting for Mirror Mirror could have been revamped. The very lovely Lily Collins, who plays Snow White, does service to the role, with some nice moments sprinkled in (although Saoirse Ronan was apparently cast first- it leaves one wondering what she might have done differently). Armie Hammer is also wonderfully charming as the handsome prince. Nathan Lane tries to find comedy in the script, and one has to question Julia Roberts entirely. Roberts is without doubt, a wonderful actress in certain roles. She has the ability to be nicely dialed down in serious, contemporary stories. But not only does she look uncomfortable and out of place in the period costumes, she does not fit the genre or era. It’s not her fault. She tries very, very hard. And, to be honest, the script did not give her ANYTHING to go on.
If the script had been written by a class of tenth graders, it might have won a local prize for filmmaking. But alas, without a drop of actual humor in what must have been pitched as a romantic-comedy story, sags even further as the movie wears on. There are weird storytelling loopholes- at one point, the evil queen is unable to throw a party because she is out of money. She has her henchman go to town to collect taxes from the starving villagers. The money is stolen on the henchman’s way back to the palace… it is never replaced. A few scenes later, the queen throws an elaborate wedding for herself. Where did that money come from? Or did her bank invent credit cards in the interim?
Also, the queen uses her magic mirror to transport herself to a sort of wooden, suspended-above-water bungalow. Why? The palace was apparently without a dungeon or secret lair. Clearly, the movie-going public was not supposed to concentrate on these types of simple plot questions, but without anything else to think about for 106 minutes, it was difficult not to dwell on such banalities.
The movie is not without merit, or entertainment value, and it’s certainly accessible enough for very, very small children, who might simply love the bright colors and may find the humor the rest of the audience could not. But it did not look cheap to make, and so one wonders what else the studio might have made, had they invested that money somewhere- anywhere- else.