Snow White’s (Lily Collins) mother has died. Her father, the king (Sean Bean), remarried. The new queen (Julia Roberts) isn’t particularly fond of Snow White. After the king meets an untimely death, the queen is very open about her disdain for Snow. Snow is confined to her room indefinitely and is chastised if she dare leave it.
The queen has run the kingdom into financial despair. As such, with her royal valet, Brighton (Nathan Lane), she is seeking a suitor who can help replenish the kingdom’s treasury.
Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) and his servant are traveling through the woods outside the castle in search of adventure. The woods are inhabited by a deadly beast. But the beast is the least of their worries. They encounter a band of thieves, who rob them of their valuables and clothing. He then seeks refuge at the castle, where the queen gets the idea he should be her new king.
As the story goes, the queen sends Brighton into the woods with Snow White to kill her. He cannot do it, but makes the king think she is dead. She stays with the dwarfs, who are the aforementioned thieves, not minors, as we all have come to know them. Their names are now Half Pint (Mark Povinelli), Napoleon (Jordan Prentice), Grub (Joe Gnoffo), Grimm (Danny Woodburn), Wolf (Sebastian Saraceno), Butcher (Martin Klebba), and Chuckles (Ronald Lee Clark).
Snow White and the dwarfs must find a way to clear her name and reclaim her birthright.
Mirror, Mirror takes a little different spin on the Snow White fairy tale we all know. Probably the most notable, as I mentioned, is the dwarfs. They are no longer the happy-go-lucky crew they have always been. And when the queen consults her mirror, she does not simply walk up to a talking mirror. She walks through a mirror into some alternate universe, where the mirror is more of a magical henchman than an all-knowing oracle. Perhaps all this is more along the lines the original Grimm version intended. (As I understand, the original Grimm’s fairy tales were a bit dark.)
It’s a fun little romp, that doesn’t make you think. Which makes it an easy escape film. I just feel there was more that could have been done. Parts of the story feel underdeveloped, or incomplete. A little more work could have gone into the script. But it was enough to entertain the kids (ages 10-13). (I’m interested to see how this will compare to this summer’s Snow White & the Huntsman.)
Lily Collins and Armie Hammer fill their roles quite nicely. Julia Roberts is one of those actresses everyone gushes over. Except me. I didn’t love her in this role. But I didn’t hate her either. She did an acceptable job. The dwarfs, a veritable who’s who of “little people” actors (minus Warwick Davis and Peter Dinklage) entertained, as a whole.
If you’re looking for something to take the kids to for an afternoon getaway, you won’t be disappointed with Mirror, Mirror. But it’s not the type of movie you need to rush out to the theater to see. Wait for it at the RedBox. Your wallet will appreciate it.