What happens when you take a perfectly nice fairy tale, throw in a few reasonably well-known actors, a horrible script, costumes that look like The Hunger Games rejects, and a plot that goes nowhere? Mirror Mirror is, unfortunately, the horrendous result.
No amount of wit will save this review from coming across as incredibly snarky and undoubtedly offensive to those who adore Julia Roberts, stupid humor, or bad fake British accents; however, until your eyes have been subjected to this atrocity, I ask you to both consider yourself lucky and give me the next few paragraphs to reasonably argue my point.
The setup for the story leads the audience to believe that what they are about to hear is from the perspective of the queen (Julia Roberts). It would seem as though we would possibly be learning of the goodness of the queen, as though perhaps she’s just had a bad rep for the last few hundred years. Instead, the story jumps back and forth, following both the queen and Snow White at different points along the way.
The queen is in debt, and is looking for a way to become rich fast, because her lavish lifestyle can’t be supported by the already dwindling economy. The idea of marriage is proposed from a neighboring baron; however, as the queen is insatiably vain, his old, haggard appearance does not appeal to her.
When the young, handsome Prince Alcott of Valencia (Armie Hammer) arrives half-naked, having been attacked by “giant dwarves,” the queen immediately forms a plan to be married to him. What the queen does not know is that Snow White (Lily Collins), her step-daughter who she has kept locked in the tower, assisted the prince upon discovering that he had been attacked in the woods. This instance was full of flirtatious behavior, and certainly something not to be ignored.
Upon the discovery of the equal attraction shared by Alcott and Snow, the queen sends her goofy, dimwitted servant Brighton (Nathan Lane) into the woods to kill Snow White and feed her to the horrible monster that lives there. Brighton feels badly for Snow and lets her go, leaving her in the woods alone. Snow happens upon a small cottage hollowed out of a tree, the home of seven thieving dwarves.
From this point on, Snow must discover a way to outsmart the queen, prevent her from marrying Prince Alcott, and save the townspeople from ruin before the queen and her black magic using ways destroy the kingdom forever. If you haven’t already thrown up in your mouth a little, not to fear – I guarantee it will happen by the end of this review.
Ridiculous is the best word I can think of to describe everything that goes on in this movie. From the insane costumes, the wigs, the set, the creepy dragon/deer/bunny monster, the dwarves on accordion stilts, and so much more, everything that happens in those ninety minutes will make your head feel like exploding. At many points in the movie I asked myself what I was watching, because I honestly didn’t know.
I hate admitting I found anything about this movie enjoyable, but I do have to say that Armie Hammer as Prince Alcott was slightly entertaining, if not for his character, at least for the fact that he had his shirt off a lot and is placed under a spell of puppy love, leading to some interesting antics and fairly amusing facial acting. Unfortunately, this did not make up for the countless other atrocities that existed throughout.
From the trailers I had seen for this movies had gathered that this would be a more comedic take on the Snow White fairy tale. Unfortunately, the humor often fell flat – sometimes because of the delivery, other times because the punch line just wasn’t funny. Admittedly, the dwarves’ antics got a grin or two out of me, but more because I was desperate to find something to laugh at, rather than for the fact that it was actually funny.
The plot of this movie was like Inception, but from the mind of a five year old. It was a movie inside a movie, inside what could be a movie, and it all wrapped up with a Bollywood dance. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m all for the cultural nod by director Tarsem Singh (Immortals), however, it made no sense and really just added to my confusion about everything else that happened in the movie. Everything from the sequence of events to the “twist” that happens at the end really just makes me question the sobriety of the people behind the scenes during production. In all seriousness, the setup for the plot was wholly misleading, the plot diverted too many times to count, and the ending of the movie, though it did wrap up what happened, left me confused as to what I was supposed to get out of it. All in all, the plot was not a win for me.
Another loss was in the acting department, and surprisingly from a fairly seasoned actor. I know I commended Armie Hammer on his acting, and honestly, Julia Roberts could stand to take a few pointers. For one thing, she began every sentence with a pathetic attempt at a British accent, and by the end of the sentence was speaking with no accent, just emphasis. Because of this, everything else she did on screen was five times as irritating as usual. The rest of the acting was fairly decent for this style of movie – there were a few recognizable faces in the mix: Danny Woodburn as Grimm and Martin Klebba as Butcher, and Sean Bean as the king and Michael Lerner as the baron. I can’t really complain about the acting, but I can’t really say anything fantastic about it either.
Something I must point out, and will horribly regret if I don’t are Lily Collins‘ eyebrows. Bushy, long, and distracting beyond all belief. Imagine the bushiest eyebrows you have ever seen (maybe reference a photo of your grandpa) and I wouldn’t doubt that these were bigger. Maybe the reason I felt so confused about everything else was partially due to the fact that every time she was on screen, I imagined the excruciating agony that would be to pluck them all off.
Overall, I would implore you to skip it. I wouldn’t wish such torture on my worst enemies. Unless you are 11 and your parents won’t let you see the other rendition that will be coming out later this year, it’s really not something worth seeing.
Mirror Mirror – 5/10