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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Mirror Mirror (2012)

So, it's so close to Tangled that you can almost smell it. An out-of-sorts princess with more character and fortitude than her adversaries give her credit for, an evil but nonetheless watchable and effervescent nemesis and a clumsy, gullible and affable love interest. Here, the similarities end, however. You may be forgiven for thinking that the latest Julia Roberts vehicle had slightly more about it than what finally made it to the screen. The early trailers would have had you believe that the film was made predominantly for adults, such was the offbeat sarcasm and conversational style of the storytelling.

Well, this turned out not to be the case and the film ended up being almost rigidly child-friendly and tight-lipped, sticking only occasionally to the original tale, mostly only for audience recognition. The film is subtitled 'The Untold Adventures of Snow White' So yes, there is a Snow White, there are even seven little men and an evil queen, but the story we all know has been bastardised to such an extent as to be almost redundant to the name and the fleshing out of these now requisite basics here seems too often like filler for filler's sake. Why, for example, was there a need to change the names of the dwarves? Script-wise, the film often threatens to be genuinely funny, where Roberts' Queen is both cutting and cunning, particularly when on screen with Nathan Lane, but this unfortunately never lasts and the film ends up becoming a series of soundbites that flatter to deceive the writers.

The acting by the main cast is good, for the most part. Armie Hammer is better suited to playing twins in suits, rather than a prince, however. Roberts is both verbally acidic and frequently dry, playing the Queen with suitable venom, but only when required. For the most part, she is a breath of fresh acting air in a project that really doesn't do her justice. Lily Collins is beautiful, to be sure, but it has to be said that acting is not her greatest trait. Her Snow White is rarely as beguiling as her new little friends make out and she often comes across as a limp substitute for Saoirse Ronan, who was originally considered for the part, but didn't get it because of the age difference between her and Armie Hammer. She just lacks a little tenderness and believability that would have made the part her own.

In summary, a disappointing re-telling of an age old classic, that tried to do it a different way that kind of fell flat on it's face. There is an audience for this and the demographic would be pre-teen girls, I expect. Every so often, Roberts will drop a pearl of a line and this almost makes it worthwhile for the adults that will invariably be dragged along to see it. Often lacklustre although never actually painful, this is one you will probably regret paying theatre prices for, but will be a good rental for a bored night in.


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