Reviews

Mirror Mirror

2

Will make you Sleepy, not Happy.

So who is the fairest of them all?

Definitely not this spin on the Brothers Grimm perennial, clunkily directed by Immortals man Tarsem Singh, with his usual emphasis on style over substance.

Mirror might have stolen a march on Kristen Stewart starrer Snow White And The Huntsman, but it’s a hollow victory for an ill-judged affair, whose main achievement is to set a low benchmark for the multiple fairytale adaps heading our way.

Snow White – daintily played by Lily Collins (Abduction) – isn’t really the lead here. Instead, scripters Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller build the story around Julia Roberts’ evil Queen, required by unspecified “financial problems” to marry herself off to Armie Hammer’s exiled Prince Alcott before her despised stepdaughter gets him first.

Dipping every utterance in spiky sarcasm, Roberts at least brings gusto to her pantovillain role. Yet putting her centre stage merely serves to diminish Collins’ arc from naïf to sword-wielding rebel, not to mention the studiously non-Disney dwarves.

That there are more dwarves than laughs suggests Singh was a poor choice of director, for all the visual pizzazz. (A deserved shout-out to the late Eiko Ishioka, whose costumes are a riot of corsets, colour and Elizabethan ruffs.)

What’s absent here is any lightness of touch, Singh’s extravagant compositions draining the foreground of energy and spontaneity – any jollity is as forced as Alan Menken’s aggressively jaunty score, laid on so thick you’d think he conducted it with a trowel.

Mirror only works in action mode, set-pieces involving a dragon and huge, cottage-destroying puppets giving more value than any amount of laboured tomfoolery.

Verdict:

To borrow a line Roberts spits at Collins, there’s something about Mirror that’s incredibly irritating. Fingers crossed Huntsman has more edge.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • thedanieljson

      Apr 3rd 2012, 11:46

      It's good when a review can make you laugh out loud - the conducted with a trowel but specifically. But yes, here hopes huntsman is better, looks like an entirely different beast.

      Alert a moderator

    • omgitsgray

      Apr 3rd 2012, 12:36

      It's interesting that you say about a movie review that makes you laugh 'cause I keep revisiting a blogger movie blog which is well funny.. Well.. I enjoy it, anyway... It's a bit sweary though- that might put people off, but it's definitely funny.. check it if you have a few free minutes... somecuntsthoughts.blogspot.co.uk/ Like I said : / bit sweary...

      Alert a moderator

    • Chufferstud

      Apr 3rd 2012, 20:42

      I'm getting a bid worried about TF's reviewers. Whilst I have always believed that you have to watch a film to judge it, it's always good to see the opinion of people in the business. But with this getting two stars, where as it's getting good reviews virtually everywhere else in the world and giving Wrath of the Titans four stars and that is being panned, I'm thinking TF has extended April Fools a little too far :)

      Alert a moderator

    • omgitsgray

      Apr 5th 2012, 8:51

      Should they try less to be individual ?

      Alert a moderator

    • piffle

      Apr 6th 2012, 12:52

      @ Chufferstud - "good reviews virtually everywhere else in the world"? Sorry mate, Metacritic doesn't agree with you http://www.metacritic.com/movie/mirror-mirror/critic-reviews. Only marginally higher aggregate than Wrath has, looks like they're both duds. I do agree that the TF Wrath review has to be an April Fools joke though.

      Alert a moderator

    • FBSDhondt

      Apr 9th 2012, 12:22

      My thoughts exactly Chufferstud. Wrath was only 0.0000000001 % better than that other Titans c**p and it got 4 stars??! That must've been one hell of a goody bag Total Film received. Reviews are always tricky, seeing as it's one persons personal taste advising you to see or not see something, but we have come to expect some kind of taste level ... I've always enjoyed Tarsem for his visual work and will agree that when it comes to content it's usually slim pickings - but something as bloated and overlong as Sucker Punch or Transformers 2 gets 3 stars and up? Time for new staffmembers Total Film ... credible ones.

      Alert a moderator