His eye candy flair, however, is not enough to make a good film. Much like his last film Immortals, his first family feature Mirror Mirror is too bland and uninspired that, even with a decent cast and strong visuals, he can’t make a good film without a solid script.
Trying to infuse some mildly modernized, almost Shrek-like humor throughout, the film hopes to connect its family audience through its lowbrow humor. Which would be fine, if the humor was any good.
While it’s not without its amusing moments, Mirror Mirror’s writing often appears lazy or cheap, perhaps in an effort to connect to its young audience. Either way, it most often doesn’t work, and because the film heavily dependents upon it, this drags the whole film down.
Not only is its humor uninspired, but so is the story. The film appears bland while attempting to act fresh and lively. It follows two different stories, one of the Queen (Julia Roberts) and her attempts to find a prince to be her husband before her age gets the better of her while still consistently taking advantage of her town. The other plot follows Snow White (Lily Collins), who’s just turning 18 and finally, after years of being trapped and hidden within the Queen’s castle, escapes and finds the company of a prince (Armie Hammer) and a group of dwarves (Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Ronald Lee Clark, and Martin Klebba).
The whole cast appears to be having a lot of fun with the material, particularly Roberts and Hammer, but as enjoyable as Hammer makes some of his material, they can’t make their bland dialogue and weak jokes any better.
With at least a half-decent story, Tarsem can make a passable film, demonstrated in his second film, The Fall. As always, Tarsem, and his cinematographer Brendan Galvin, give Mirror Mirror the same visual enhancement. Through his strong visual sense, he knows how to give this material the sense of wonder that it needs. But without a strong, original or entertaining take to the story, the film can’t come above being bland and, well, un-engaging.
Mirror Mirror is only one of two new adaptations of Snow White coming to theaters this year. Hopefully, Snow White and the Huntsman, set to come out this summer, will provide a strong, unique take to the classic fairy tale. While this film was not as bad as last year’s Red Riding Hood, it still can’t give the sense of joy and wonder necessary to give to work.