Critics agree the Snow White adaptation is 'not the fairest of them all.'
By Fallon Prinzivalli
Before it even hit the box office, "Mirror Mirror" was viewed with a critical eye as two Snow White adaptations had announced their release dates a month apart. But with the release of the trailers, it was clear that the two movies were very different. The Tarsem Singh film is a quirky comedy from the vantage point of the Evil Queen (Julia Roberts) over the traditional Snow White (Lily Collins), while "Snow White and the Huntsman" is about the epic battle Snow White (Kristen Stewart) must fight for her life. Unfortunately for those involved in the former, as the reviews pour in, it's obvious the movie is making critics grumpy.
" 'Mirror Mirror' begins with an impressively animated recap of Snow White's predicament: Banished to her castle by a wicked stepmother after her father the king disappears, and being played by such a vacantly pretty ingenue as Lily Collins. Collins conveys a properly Audrey Hepburn princess look and the acting range of a runway model. The damsel's role is always distressed. The queen has run the kingdom into the ground, funding a lavish lifestyle with escalating taxes. After sneaking out for a tour of the squalor, Snow sides with the other 99 percent. Their relationship is further strained with the arrival of handsome Prince Alcott." — Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times
" 'Mirror Mirror' is unfair to people expecting more than a few good laughs. Scenes proceed lethargically, with pauses after punch lines where Tarsem must hope for audience laughter. Anachronistic gags (as when the Prince tells Snow White that he has to be the hero because 'it's been focus-grouped — it works') break whatever luscious spell the art direction and costumery might create. On their first meeting in the woods, the Prince tells the dwarfs, 'You're short, and it's funny.' Well, the film is shortish (106 mins.) but it's also epically unfunny. The producers should have handed the script to an actual clever person like Paul Rudnick ('In & Out,' 'Jeffrey') and told him to send it back in a week, with solid jokes and a buoyant spirit." — Richard Corliss, Time
"Roberts has had exactly one high point ('Duplicity') since winning her Oscar in 2000, and she acts here as if simply appearing in a floofy dress is high hilarity. Her 'playfulness' seems like work and her cartoony maliciousness is dull. (Charlize Theron, who plays the queen in this summer's more serious 'Snow White and the Huntsman,' needn't fret.)" — Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"Singh, whose eye-popping tribute to the Silent Era, 'The Fall,' was several years ahead of 'The Artist'/'Hugo' curve, never lets his attention waver from the production design — those beautiful, snowy, birch tree forests; the parapets; cliffs; and opulent palace digs. He lets his stars deliver their lines — some with more flourish and wit than others (among the dwarfs, Jordan Prentice and Danny Woodburn get off the best) — but his eye is mostly on the gilt and the silk, the CG-ed skies, and the eerie, iced-over lake that separates the castle from the town." — Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
The Final Word
"The whole thing lacks tonal cohesion, lurching from Tim Burton-style comic grotesquerie to underpowered action set pieces to a gratuitously self-referential Bollywood production number on the end credits. The impression is that of a director constantly fighting to put his stamp on material that's foreign to him, and unable to figure out what that stamp should be." — David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
"Not the fairest of them all." — Matt Stevens, E! Online
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