MirrorMask (2005) starring Stephanie Leonidas, Jason Barry, Rob Brydon, Gina McKee directed by Dave McKean Movie Review

MirrorMask (2005)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Stephanie Leonidas in MirrorMask (2005)

Mightmare in Mirror Land

Helena (Stephanie Leonidas) was born in to the circus thanks to her Dad (Rob Brydon) owning a circus whilst her mum (Gina McKee) is a performer. But Helena's life is thrown out of balance when her mum falls ill and the circus is in danger of having to close. Suffering from weird dreams Helena finds herself in a world where two kingdoms are in trouble as the "Queen of the Light" has fallen asleep and Helena must navigate the curious world with the help of a juggler by the name Valentine (Jason Barry) to find the MirrorMask and wake the Queen before it is too late.

During my childhood there was "Labyrinth" and "Legion" amongst others and whilst I have never been a huge fan of these fantasy adventure movies I quite liked "Labyrinth". What I don't like is "MirrorMask" a surreal modern taken on the fantasy adventure where we have a young girl on a mission in a strange world. It was just too strange and surreal for my sensibilities and too grim at the same time with this world which intentionally looks hand drawn in places. The trouble with this is that I disliked the visual style so much that it was hard to appreciate it as being clever which I am sure those who have a fondness for surreal art might find it.

The knock on effect of this is that with its big USP swept to one side what we have left is just another fantasy adventure movie as I pointed out and the story on its own is not enough to carry the movie. Neither it has to be said is the very British cast with the likes of Stephen Fry, Lenny Henry and Rob Brydon appearing or lending their voices but doing little for me. About the only performance which I enjoyed was that of Stephanie Leonidas who could have a great future but she needs to stay clear of abstract movies like this, or at least I think so.

What this all boils down to is that if you are fan of surrealist and abstract art then you might really enjoy the graphic nature of "MirrorMask". But if surreal is not your thing I suggest giving this a miss as 90% of the movie is about the surreal look rather than the story or the characters.