Julia Roberts in Mirror Mirror (2012)

Wicked Stepmom

Let me tell you how I see "Mirror Mirror" it is a fantasy fairytale, which twists things into a new adventure rather than a traditional one. It has the a mix of style which reminds me a little of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" but also of "Your Highness" except that it is family friendly rather than full of swearing. Now it appears that this combination of twisted fairytale done in a family friendly way is not for everyone and there are many who seem to object to "Mirror Mirror". But I'm not one of them as it is a lot of family friendly fun.

After her father the King (Sean Bean) vanished when he went off into the woods his daughter Snow White (Lily Collins - The Blind Side) was raised by her attractive step mother The Queen (Julia Roberts - Larry Crowne). Desperate to remain the most beautiful woman in all the land she fears that Snow White will grow up to eclipse her. But that is not the only problem plaguing the queen as her excessive lifestyle has not only left her penniless but left the once happy kingdom a miserable place thanks to her excessive taxes. When the visiting Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer - The Social Network) takes a shine to Snow White the Queen's jealousy leads her to banish her step daughter to the forest where she meets a band of seven brave dwarves. Turning into a strong woman Snow White sets about not only reclaiming her kingdom and restoring it to its former glory but also reclaiming her Prince.

Lily Collins and Armie Hammer in Mirror Mirror (2012)

So to try and sum "Mirror Mirror" up is a bit difficult because whilst it takes its basic idea from the classic fairytale of Snow White it twists it this way and that way. Take the Seven Dwarves which we first encounter when the come across Prince Alcott in the woods, they are on hydraulic, springy legs and act like mini ninja's. Then there is the Queen herself who rather than really evil is more sarcastically evil with numerous caustic put downs and nefarious plans. I could continue but basically the writers have done a wonderful job of reimagining the classic fairytale and twisting it this way and that.

Then there is the look and "Mirror Mirror" has that timeless fantasy look with extravagant costumes and backdrops. Just the array of costumes which Julia Roberts wears are extraordinary, voluminous not even coming close to describing their size and opulence. But the sets are just as good from inside the dwarves cave to the snow lined roofs of the town it looks right. And rather than going too dark as in a Tim Burton movie there is just the right amount of light to the look to make it fantasy but friendly.

Now there are a lot of entertaining performances with Armie Hammer delivering an amusing performance as the Prince whilst Lily Collins is sweet as Snow White. But in truth "Mirror Mirror" is all about Julia Roberts as the Queen and Roberts' wonderful delivery of the scheming queen and her nefarious lines is perfect. Her attempts to seduce the Prince are simply amusing from when she first meets him and is distracted by the fact he is shirtless to her attempts to draw him into her during dinner is simple but brilliant.

What this all boils down to is that "Mirror Mirror" is a wonderfully twisted fairytale which is full of sarcasm and family friendly humour. If you watch expecting anything dark or grown up you will be disappointed because this is intended as fun for all the family and it achieves it.