Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mirror Mirror (2012)

Mirror Mirror: written by Marc Klein, Jason Keller, and Melisa Wallack; directed by Tarsem Singh; starring Julia Roberts (The Queen), Lily Collins (Snow White), Armie Hammer (Prince Alcott), Nathan Lane (Brighton), and Sean Bean (The King) (2012): Mostly diverting action-comedy based on the Snow White story. Lily Collins (daughter of Phil) has some Abe Vigoda-esque eyebrows as Snow White, though.

The set design and costuming are pretty, and pretty impressive: Tarsem Singh loves making things look baroque. If the script were wittier, the whole thing might actually be a minor classic. It's certainly much lighter on its feet than the same year's other Snow White movie, the more epic Snow White and the Huntsman, and Collins is a much more charming presence than the other movie's Kristen Stewart. The movie's tone takes its cues from The Princess Bride, not Lord of the Rings.

Julia Roberts seems to be having fun being bad and doing a bad English accent. No one else even tries to do an accent. Unlike Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror uses actual dwarves and not CGI-squashed actors. Armie Hammer is actually pretty funny as the Prince, and Nathan Lane gets about all the laughs out of his lines that he can.

Singh's visual inventiveness is mostly kept under control, though there's a fascinating sequence involving giant, homicidal marionettes that really is quite magical and odd. It's like something from a Guillermo del Toro movie. Lightly recommended.

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