It seems like in most movies where there is a good versus evil story, the villain tends to steal the spotlight away from the hero and ends up being the more colorful of the two characters. This is definitely the case as Julia Roberts throws everything she has at creating a deliciously fun take on The Queen in this new version of the classic Snow White story.
For the most part, this is the Snow White story you have always known although still quite a bit different from the Disney version known around the world. Less cute and cuddly and more stylish and witty, "Mirror Mirror" stays a little bit closer to the original Grimm tale while still managing to be kid friendly enough to appeal to its intended audience.
The character of Snow White is played by Lily Collins, who has previously appeared in The Blind Side and Priest, gives a capable performance, but she doesn't do nearly enough to come close to the energy and humor that Ms. Roberts pours in to her character.
The movie becomes more of a showcase for what hilarious things The Queen might do or say next rather than a tale of two rival beauties that are destined to face off and decide the fate of a kingdom.
One thing I worried about was how the dwarfs would be portrayed as this is a key to the whole story working. Fortunately, the movie's creators found a way to make them believable in a world that is extremely stylized, yet still has a bit more grit and grime than you might expect.
Another key element of the story is having a prince that will be just as appealing to the two main characters as he is to the viewing audience. Armie Hammer, after playing some seriously dramatic roles in movies like "J. Edgar" and "The Social Network", really has a great time "hamming" it up as Prince Alcott and delivers some really fun moments throughout the movie.
Director, Tarsem Singh, who's previous credits include "Immortals" and "The Cell" seems to excel at creating highly stylized worlds that are bursting with color and huge, sweeping visuals. In "Mirror Mirror" there is no shortage of beautiful effects shots along with some amazing looking sets and costumes, all of which fit really nicely in to the story to create a piece of work that will appeal to viewers of all ages.