From the trailers of Mirror Mirror, I expected a film filled with cheesy gimmicks, horrible writing and a decent cast that simply couldn't pull it all together. Instead, I was shocked when I actually enjoyed the majority of the film. Yes, some of the lines are cheesy, but you have to keep in mind the PG rating.
Despite that rating, however, is the presence of some pretty advanced dialogue. I don't know many elementary aged kids that know the meaning of multisyllabic words, but it was definitely fun for the adults. The only thing that seemed to be entirely for the kids was a ridiculously over-the-top song and dance display shown during the end credits. It was wince-inducing, particularly since the rest of the film had managed to avoid any unnecessary musical numbers.
The film in no way follows the Grimm version, or even the Disney version of the popular Snow White adventure. The story is initially presented as the evil Queen's version but shifts to telling the story of Snow White realizing that the Queen has decimated the kingdom Snow's father had built. I both enjoyed the story and hated that it strayed from the original Grimm tale, although that would have required a much higher rating.
Director Tarsem Singh’s previous film was Immortals, so Mirror Mirror is quite a change of pace. I do wish that the animation sequences had been better, but I can forgive that in exchange for the costuming, which is gorgeous, cohesive, and occasionally a bit ridiculous in a way that only royalty can be. The performances from the leads are believable, if occasionally a little overkill, particularly Armie Hammer’s representation of puppy love. Julia Roberts can play crazy yet strangely naïve very well, which works in this permutation of the Queen.
Don’t let the trailers mislead you; Mirror Mirror is actually an enjoyable film with some redeemable factors. Yes, it all wraps up nicely at the end, but the film is a unique take on the classic fairy tale.