Mirror Mirror

It was strangely challenging to find an
English poster for this movie.
"The Snow White legend comes alive."

Hello everyone, welcome to a new day at The Tagline! Today, since the Lone Ranger just came out, but I am too cheap to go see it because I anticipate it sucking ass, I thought I could revisit Armie Hammer's recent cinematic past (also his name... is that really his name?) by talking about Mirror Mirror. For those who recall, I reviewed the other recent movie about Snow White, Snow White and the Huntsman, when it was released but I never got around to seeing Mirror Mirror, which came out around the same time. While Snow White and The Huntsman favored a darker interpretation of the age old story, that was nonetheless ploddingly paced and unevenly acted, Mirror Mirror favors a more colorful aesthetic. Starring Lily Collins as Snow White (See her and her eyebrows here as well alongside Taylor "I can't act" Lautner) and Julia Roberts as the wicked queen who oppresses the kingdom, Mirror Mirror offers its own variation on the oft told story of Snow White. In this particular instance... well things are about the same as they are in other Snow Whites. A widower king is bewitched by a very nasty lady, who takes over after his convenient disappearance and treats the princess, Snow White, not so nicely, and eventually decides she has to die because she's in the way. In particular, Julia Roberts the evil queen plans to marry the handsome and rich prince of Valencia Alcott (that would be Armie Hammer) and to make sure there are no road blocks there she sends her lackey Brighton (Nathan Lane) to kill her in the woods. Naturally he doesn't and she takes up with a bunch of bandits who are actually dwarves (seven of them go figure) who teach her to sword fight and be sassy or what-have-you, and she resolves to retake the kingdom from Julia Roberts, who no surprise is not a great ruler, on account of she is a vain and evil witch (literally of course).

Lily Collins is a likable protagonist if nothing else.
Much as Snow White and the Huntsman had fantastic sets, in a gritty, medieval fashion, Mirror Mirror brings striking color and a very fairy tale sort of setting. The costumes are bright and fanciful, and I have to say that the movie does have some Bollywood fingerprints on it in that regard (also the musical number at the end). Unlike Snow White and the Huntsman, this movie has a few other things going for it. For starters, it lacks the dreary pacing and plodding exposition of SWatH, and while the plot isn't incredibly focused, things at least are continuously happening and the movie doesn't lean entirely on atmosphere and setting. Also a note in its favor, unlike Kristen Stewart, Lily Collins can actually emote, which is something that you want to be able to say about the leading lady in your film. She is sweet, but not a push-over, and generally speaking she is a sympathetic Snow White. She's as nice as Julia Roberts' queen is mean, and Julia Roberts does a pretty good job in that role, not that I am surprised there. While none of the seven dwarves stand out especially in their performance (mostly because you rarely see any of them without all the others) they are effective as a unit and there are some genuinely amusing moments in the film. That being said, I felt like Napoleon and Butcher received a bit more characterization, and so you get to like

You can tell that this queen isn't making sacrifices for the
good of the realm. Her guards have gold helmets!
Of course it isn't all sunshine and daisies in the land of Snow White. While the movie is occasionally funny, and mostly enjoyable, it is also very low impact, and at times super cheesy, even for a movie about Snow White. It's clear that this movie is aimed at a younger audience given the very light tone, and also considering that literally no one dies. Not even the evil queen! We also find out that the king isn't dead, and also that somehow he is Sean Bean, who I imagine only had to be present for one day of shooting, and probably had to get liquored up before he could get into his goofy king outfit. I was certainly surprised to see him in any role where he was not gruesomely murdered. I'm proud to say Sean Bean is the only actor I've ever watched be drawn and quartered (that film by the way is Black Death, I think it may still be on Netflix).

Sean Bean should dress like this every day IMHO.
So what's the final verdict? While very different, making a side-by-side comparison difficult, Mirror Mirror is better enough than Snow White and the Huntsman as to still be considered generally superior. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but certainly I would say that the tween audience would like it. I can see why the darker toned SWatH did better, as that's what everyone wants (also it had Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart in it) but that doesn't make it a good movie. I also need to mention that they are apparently making a SECOND SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN SOMEHOW. I don't know what the hell it will be about but... there that is.

That's all for today, I'll see y'all on Thursday!

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