Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie review: Mirror, Mirror (+trailer)

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Classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale Snow White is making quite a comeback this year, with two Snow White films competing for our attention as well as Once Upon a Time on the telly.

First to the big screen is Mirror, Mirror, starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins, with Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Twilight's Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Charlize Theron as her evil step-mother, due out in June.

While the trailer for The Huntsman indicates it's a gothic spin, Mirror Mirror, directed by Tarsem Singh (Immortals), is highly stylised, with striking art direction and eye-poppingly scrumptious costumes. But the tone here is more towards the cheeky and comedic.

This is the safe and family-friendly interpretation - it doesn't go heavy on the evil and risk upsetting audience members who want to be princesses. Young heroine (Collins) is as sweet and picture perfect as we'd expect her to be, the Prince (Hammer) whom she hopes can help her rescue her kingdom from the Queen is tall and dashing, and Julia Roberts hams it up and is rude to everyone with her best impersonation of Glee's Sue Sylvester.

Though these characters look like they're out of another time, the script - give or take the odd "I bid you adieu"- has a contemporary tone.

It's also fast-paced, gently mocks the fairy tale genre, and adds a touch of feminism.

It might be a re-imagining but things don't go much better for Snow White. She still gets sent to the woods to die, convinces the Queen's henchman (Nathan Lane) to let her go, meets the dwarfs and then fights back for her kingdom. The Prince though does with the Queen - who is in need of a cash injection - using her magic to force him to marry her.

The storyline additions don't add much, but rather impede the film's momentum; it all becomes just a little bit too silly. The tweens should enjoy it, and it looks beautiful for sure, but Mirror Mirror doesn't quite have the depth or humour to fill its 106-minute duration.

Stars: 3/5
Cast: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer
Director: Tarsem Singh
Running time: 106 mins
Rating: PG (Violence)
Verdict: Good fun for the tween princess in your life


- NZ Herald

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