By Jack Rico
If you are curious to know what is one of the worst films of 2012, no need to look further than ‘Mirror, Mirror’ from director Tarsem Singh, the same man who directed the visually stunning ‘The Fall’ and ‘Immortals 3D,’ and whom some consider to be an artist. So then how did this debacle occur? The studio, Relativity Media, decided to go for an infantile version of the Snow White story targeted at 2 year olds, so it seems, thus creating a silly, soporific and unmemorable piece of cinema for anyone else to enjoy.
In celebration of the 200 years of the birth of the Brothers Grimm story ‘Snow White’ in 1812, ‘Mirror, Mirror’ has the objective of offering a fresh and supposedly funny retelling of the Snow White legend. After a beloved King (Sean Bean) vanishes, his ruthless wife (Julia Roberts) seizes control of the kingdom and keeps her beautiful 18-year-old stepdaughter, Snow White (Lily Collins), hidden away in the palace. But when the princess attracts the attention of a charming and wealthy visiting prince (Armie Hammer), the jealous Queen banishes the girl to a nearby forest. Taken in by a band of rebellious but kindhearted dwarfs, Snow White blossoms into a brave young woman determined to save her country from the Queen. With the support of her new friends, she roars into action to reclaim her birthright and win back her Prince in this magical adventure comedy that will capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences the world over.
Julia Roberts is the only saving grace of this mishandled foul up. She is unequivocally charismatic, and for the first time, can rile up the disdain from the bottom of my bottoms. Lily Collins, our princess Snow White, is beautiful and innocent. Regrettably, this is Robert’s movie, removing any chance of her to shine or to see if she could feature any thespian ability.
Armie Hammer hasn’t acted much in Hollywood, but he already reached a nadir that can only be cleansed with a cask of Sailor Jerry’s rum. All you need to see to agree is the ‘puppy love’ scene. Nuff’ said. There goes a promising career. Nathan Lane, a Broadway veteran is a living, breathing cartoon. His casting choice behooves the film perfectly. The dwarves, and they are too many to mention, are not fuzzy nor enchanting. They provide most of the comic relief and fail miserably at it.
The screenplay by Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller is vacuous and uninspired, a true shame to such a classic and indelible story. There really is nothing engaging here worth the time for teenagers or even parents besides spending the money as a replacement for a babysitter. If it is family entertainment you’re looking for ‘Dolphin Tale‘ or the new ‘Winnie the Pooh‘ are excellent choices on DVD. But if you are still relishing a modern take on Snow White, I’d wait until June 1st and savor ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, an action adventure, state of the art visual phenomenon.
In short, Singh’s ‘Mirror, Mirror’ is an attempt to do a live action film with an animation sensibility, one that highlights inimical traits such as exaggerated gestures, embarrassing dialogue and a stilted romance that never convinces. Next!