Monday, April 9, 2012

Movie Review: Mirror Mirror

Once again, Hollywood has affirmed that there isn't a single original idea among them.  It's bad enough that we're re-imagining stories into odd twists (see the novel Cinder, or the recent movie adaptations of Little Red Riding Hood), but we're also going to take a story we know and tell it mostly like we know it.

But, the kids were at "school", I was on break, Jenni had the day off, and we had two free tickets, two free popcorns and two free beverages to burn.  By the time we decided to see a movie, there was only one playing within the next hour:  Mirror Mirror.

Overall, it was an entertaining couple of hours.  As we all know the story of Snow White there were precious few plot twists that surprised us.  Any suspense in the plot was rooted more in a sense of "Ah, so that's how they're going to handle it this time."

As I search for things to critique nothing really stands out as a negative.  All of the cast, from Roberts to Lane to Collins (who is the daughter of Phil Collins did you know?) turned in solid performances for a fantasy romance story.  I don't see any Oscars in the near future but there weren't any moments where I sat and thought "Wow, that sucked."  Let's be clear, there's a point in the movie where our leading man is told to "act like a puppy."  Yes, it's corny.  Yes, it's cheesy.  But it was mildly entertaining.

The script was serviceable enough, again, with no glaring flaws or wretched lines.  The dwarves (now named after their jobs rather than personality traits) indeed had some fine comedic moments.  There are some deviations from the core story, which I'll leave unsaid so as not to spoil anyone.

I do have to agree with the complaints that the movie lacked a serious sense of space.  The outdoor scenes almost entirely take place in a handful of sound stages, using high mounted cameras to show hide that the snow covered hills disappear just a few feet out of the shot.  While on-location shooting is expensive, for a movie with such epic vistas in the panoramic shots, using small confined spaces for the action was jarring.    In that regard it was bland to watch and if not for the solid (if uninspired) performances the movie would have been a flop.

However, if you look past the small sets, the "known" story, and the relatively basic format, the movie's worth seeing as an easy date night.  It won't give you a lot to talk about over dinner or drinks afterwards, other than "Lilly Collins, was she in something else?"  Is it a must see, however?  No, not really.  It neither offends nor inspires.

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