Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Arts

April 4, 2012

‘Mirror Mirror’ acceptable effort at retread tale

Movie Review

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Avoiding the theater simply because one story is similar to something you’ve seen before is a pretty lame excuse given how everything we’re familiar with is borrowed from something else. However, Hollywood is admittedly way too good at milking certain ideas (especially sequels) beyond toleration, making some wonder why the same classic fairy tale babe has two movies about her in the same year.

So taking the “Shrek” line of thinking, I decided to at least give the comedic option a try and while it wasn’t quite the freshest take, it did more for me than Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” The overall cast was well placed in their roles and the time killed was worth the evening investment. “Mirror Mirror” is able to hold it’s own well enough for this time of year and may even please the lady saves the day fans.

All the familiar fairy tale elements make their appearance once again in this story from the Evil Queen step mother (Julia Roberts), who wants to be the most beautiful forever to a handsome prince, Alcott (Armie Hammer), seeking to fill a void in his life. There’s almost a Rapunzel thing going on with Snow White (Lily Collins), since she’s pretty much confined out of site in the castle, but doesn’t last long when the young girl reaches 18 and gets a lot more adventurous.

Some of the unique twists this time around is a far more magically meddlesome mirror (almost like a witch cauldron) in the queen’s possession and a land sucked dry forcing everyone, including the famous dwarves to seek not quite proud survival skills like being bandits. In fact, one almost could argue that this might also just be missing a lion and a wardrobe to be right there with another fantasy tale. In any case, it does have a nice balance of fairy tale wonder meets just enough grim to avoid the Disney treatment.

The humor makes this a guaranteed safe bet for families with Roberts bringing everyone together. I mean why not, since she’s already proven she can handle vanity.

If you need something to tide you over until the summer season hits, this will do if you’ve already experienced the “Hunger” phenomenon. I doubt I’ll add it to my permanent collection, but worth a second time around if things get slow enough some random Saturday in the distant future. Final verdict for “Mirror Mirror:” Three and a half out of five spells.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.

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