Hello, Spongey here.
When I started these reviews in 2012, I had plenty of films I wanted to from the start. Since then I’ve done most of those. Jack & Jill, Spy Kids 4, Green Lantern, etc. But there a few I still have yet to do.
But today I finally look something that’s been on my plate since near the beginning. With it’s rival coming out with a prequel this week, it seemed like it was finally time. It’s a doozy.
Snow White is one of those stories that has been adapted a lot, with many people throwing in their own interpretation. But in 2012, both Relativity Media and Universal had the idea to make their own version of the story.
This was pretty odd coincidence that was interesting to see. Snow White and Huntsman got mixed reviews and was a big enough hit to warrant another entry. I’ve seen it and while it’s no masterpiece, it was enjoyable for what it was, and I’ll explain further later.
This one on the other hand…was still a hit, but got mostly negativity reviews and is easily the worst of the two films. For whatever, I watched it back in 2012 and while I didn’t hate it, I disliked it enough to want to cover.
But because of other films, I kept either pushing it back or forgetting about it. Now, it’s finally time to put it in it’s place. The most interesting thing before we go in, is the director, Tarsem. Yes, the guy behind The Cell.
Because that’s who you want doing a fairy tale family film, right?
But hey, anyone can change up their style for once, so that’s not an issue. The writers haven’t done much of note, which will show. So why exactly is this film such a failure? Let’s finally take a look.
This, is Mirror Mirror
The movie opens with narration about Snow White’s backstory. You know the story, some people gave birth to a lovely daughter.
“They called her Snow White. Probably because that was the most pretentious name they could come up with”
Heh. The first actual joke is funny! I’m almost fooled into thinking this will be good. Snow’s Mother died in child birth which is brushed off like it’s not kind of important. Father raised her on his own but eventually he had to ge re-married, so of course he picked the evilist person he could find.
“To clarify, she was me”
Yeah, I got that. Yes, the villain gives us the backstory. Different, but it works. One day, The King left to do a thing but never came back, leaving the kingdom in the care of the evil queen. I don’t remember of the king comes back or not.
With that, we cut to the present with Snow White, played by Lily Colins. We see her play with animals in the blandest way she possible could then we properly meet the queen, played by Julia Roberts. As you can guess from her snark she is the highlight…for the most part.
She does evil thing for a bit until Snow White comes in. It’s her 18th birthday and she’s hoping she can come to this Gala thing.
“You’ve done nothing to me…yet there’s something about her that’s so incredibly irritating”
Maybe it’s her very subpar acting?
The Queen doesn’t’ really care about the birthday and just wants her to stay in her room. At least they lampshade how she has no real reason to act like this. I think this is a good time to met our love interest, who is hanging out in the woods with a pal.
It doesn’t take long for them to run into trouble as they robbed by dwarves. That’s gotta be embarrassing. Oh, and Prince Alcott is played by Armie Hammer, so it’s obvious why these guys have a problem with him.
And to the add to the list of actors I am sad to see, one of the dwarves is played by that guy from Crash and Bernstein, 30 nights, and Santa Buddies. Alcott gets less scared when he finds out these are dwarves, even though they’ve been holding their own so far.
“You’re short and it’s funny”.
Said the filmmakers probably.
After the dwarves take their stuff and tie them up, we join Snow as the rest of the castle celebrates her birthday. Snow goes out while the Queen talks to the titular Mirror. And by that I mean she…walks into it and ends up in this weird island place. That’s…different.
Not too much happens except for her reflection telling her to marry someone rich. Typical stuff, I know.
Snow White explores the woods for no real reason and bumps into Alcott and his friend. She frees them and we get the whole love at first sign thing. It’s worth mentioning that the dwarves took most of their clothes, so Alcott is shirtless. I think that had a part in her falling in love, just saying.
With that, they just go on their own, to never ever meet again. Nope. By pure coincidence, Alcott is going to visit the evil queen as a suitor. While shirtless. Not the best idea. It’s a good thing she’s horny as hell.
In light of his appearance, the queen wants to hold a ball but Nathan Lane tells her that she’s kind of broke. Naturally her answer is to just collect more taxes. I know this talk of faicnial woes is very riveting, but we must go back to Snow White, as she explores the nearby village, which is doing very poorly for obvious reasons.
This pretty much convinces her that the queen is evil and must be stopped. This is followed by a scene of the queen getting the weirdest spa treatment ever, with worms and shit like that. I will never get beauty.
That night, they have the ball where Snow bumps into Prince Aclott.
“Seeing you in that dress has caused me to lose my words”
“It least it didn’t’ cause you to lose your pants”
She tries to tell him about how evil the queen is, but she quickly takes her aside as she conveniently happened to be close to her when she started to talk. She is more than a little happy and wants her killed.
Instead of just offing her now, she has her taken to the forest to be killed. Yeah, this is how the story goes, but being a nitpicking asshole means I have to ignore the logical reasoning why things happen.
Nathan Lane takes her out but a bunch of loud noises (aka thunder sounds) scares him off. Or maybe he lets go, I don’t know. Either way, this is why you never send Timon to kill someone.
He goes back The Queen and tells her that he killed her. As the story goes, Snow White wakes up in the the cottage of the 7 Dwarves. It’s kind of weird that they were introduced as villains in some way earlier, but whatever.
Even now, they aren’t exactly saints. This is kind of neat angle, and it makes them fairly amusing I suppose. Wish the film had more of this instead of the boring stuff we got, but more on that in a bit.
They decide to let her stay for one night, at least. They say their names but I’m too lazy to learn them so hopefully one specific character won’t stand out. I do know that one is named Grimm. GET IT?
Meanwhile, the kingdom is informed of Snow’s “Death” as things get worse over in the kingdom. Nathan Lane collects taxes, but is then robbed by the dwarves. There’s something to add to the list of amazing sentences I’ve written.
They go back to Snow and pretty much admit they are thieves, which she does not like. The dwarves then give their reasoning for hating the queen, which I think isn’t needed as we have plenty reason to hate her: She’s freaking evil.
The Dwarves were banished for being ugly. Fair enough, it gives their characters some attempt at depth at least. Since the stolen gold technically belongs to the people, Snow gives it back.
Great, but eventually she’s gonna find out that it was stolen to begin with and just want more taxes. But hey, gotta take your victories as they come. Snow White tells them the Dwarves got the gold back, in order to make them a bit more loved. Meanwhile, The Queen is hanging with Prince Alcott and ends up telling him about Snow’s “Death’ . You know, it just hit me that character of Snow here is 18, while Alcott looks…a bit above that.
Of course the actors were in their mid 20’s so it seems okay but story wise…not so much.
Nathan Lane shows up and tells her what happened which makes Alcott want to take care of those dang thieves. Oh, and Nathan got some clothes taken because Comedy. The Dwarves decided to let Snow stay, but only if she becomes a thief.
She isn’t took keen on this, but they say they will only steal from the queen, so it’s okay. Which means it’s time for a thief training montage! Instead of bitching about the montage again, let’s talk for a bit as we’ve reached the main problem with the film.
We’ve reached the main premise/: Snow White but she’s just a bit more proactive and the dwarves are thieves. And it’s dumber. In other words, it’s not so much a new version, as it is just the same only slightly different and weaker.
I mean, it is different I suppose, but not in the right areas. Most of the updates make it less interesting and feel just kind of tacked on. It doesn’t feel different or interesting enough to justify it’s existence.
Compare this to Snow White and the Hunstman which is a completely different take. It’s not exactly perfect, and you can dislike it all you want, but it at least tries to offer an interesting sp in on the story.
This is just barely different and on it’s own it’s just really weak. That’s another issue, it’s really boring. Barely anything that interesting has happened and we’re now 50 minutes in. It’s just mediocre characters doing stuff I don’t care about.
More on that stuff at other places in the review. After the montage, Prince Alcott shows up looking for the thieves, and finds Snow White. They are not happy to be on seemingly opposite sides. But of course he doesn’t have much of a reaction to her being alive.
Instead of talking things out, they fight because we need some action to keep people from falling asleep. She kicks his ass and he flees back to the castle. Again, don’t try to talk things out or anything, just fight and flee.
He tells her about Snow White.
‘You told me she was dead”
NATHAN LANE:I Wish I was dead.
Come on, the movie isn’t THAT bad.
The Queen consults her magic mirror person (I still don’t get it) and wants to punish Nathan Lane for lying. He has a name but it’s funnier if I call him that. She turns him into a cockroach.
In order to get the prince on her side, she decides to love potion, because those always turn out so well. He drinks it…and jumps her. Oh god, this is about to get very un-kid friendly!
Actually, he jumps on her like a dog. Because Puppy Love. I gotta say, Disney’s Lone Ranger talking like a dog is kind of funny. Back with the Dwarves, one of them says he heard The Queen and Alcott were getting married.
Will the whole dog thing get in the way or is she into …that, now? Snow gets sad and I care deeply because they shared so much screen time and their chemistry was so strong. I said sarcastically.
Then these weird…statue puppet things, I think, attack them. And it’s pretty much pointless. Speaking of pointless things, Nathan Lane’s spell wears off, with us not getting to see anything interesting happen with his whole cockroach thing.
“And in a strange turn of events, a grasshopper took advantage of me!”
YOU KNOW-FOR KIDS!
Once I get over….that, she has get back to work without even caring that he just randomly turned back to normal. The next morning, the Dwarves wake up to find that Snow is gone and has left a note saying she left since her presence only caused them harm.
Okay, I guess the weird statue monster things had some kind of a point. But one bad thing and you just have to leave? Idiot Bitch. Also, how sad it is it that I feel the connection with Snow and the Dwarves way more than the one with the actual freaking love interest?
They head out to get her….and shes’ right outside because she hasn’t left yet. Okay, that’s funny until you realize how stupid of her it was to have left in the time it took for them to read it. The movie isn’t fast or clever enough for that to be the joke.
They give her a speech and she changes her mind. They couldn’t even bother to drag the obligatory 3rd act contrivance for 5 whole minutes! Anyway, with that they head off to crash the wedding.
And by that, I mean they kidnap the prince so the wedding cannot go on. WE actually see them take out the guards, so good on them for actually explaining that. …But bad on them for only having two freaking guards to protect the prince.
They figure out he’s under a spell and try to snap him out of it. After some antics, they figure that a kiss will do it. So in this version a kiss gets the PRINCE out of a spell. Decent idea but it’s safe to say execution is a bit dumb.
Mostly since I won’t buy that their kiss is a true love one since they barely interacted in a meaningful way. She figures it’s worth a try and yay, it works. This would have worked better after the climax, instead of just being lamely solved beforehand, but I don’t care at this point.
“I read so many stories where the prince saves the princess in the end. I think it’s time we changed that ending”
Yay, you’re so progressive. It’s a good thing the prince wasn’t used for jokes and pretty much useless, or else we’d have some amazingly unfortunate implications on our hands!
The Queen shows up at their doorstep, which is why Snow said and went out on her own. If she dies, she only has herself to blame. Which seems likely as the queen has brought this big evil beast.
The Prince escapes because the Dwarves had a key (which is kind of funny) and Snow decided she’s okay with him fighting with her, I guess. Hooray for more pointless scenes! The Dwarves follow suit to make things a bit more exciting.
I hope this isn’t a climax: Fighting a big beast I can barely see because this takes place at night. She manages to kill the beast just by stabbing it with some dagger, and then her father pops up. …Wait, what?
Okay, it looks like The Beast was The King all along. Care to explain how that happened? I suppose the queen just turned him into this to take over, but I’d like a proper explanation. Instead of them just introducing him to her friends and accepting it.
…No, you’re gonna randomly cut to Snow White and Prince Alcott getting married? Okay, then I can bitch about how out of nowhere this is, and why she turned him into a beast that can easily be changed back instead of a cockroach like she did with Timon.
Speaking of the queen, she conveniently left before this happened. We briefly see her in her mirror place where she starts to age and the mirror queen says this is her price for using magic. Care to explain more? No, that’s all we get before we move on to so much later that I can only assume she’s dead?
Whatever, I REALLY don’t care, we’re almost done.
“By the power invested in me…by me, I now pronounce you man and wife”
Too bad I don’t care about their relationship for reasons already explained. Then to prove me wrong, the queen shows up but so old that Snow doesn’t recognize her. She gives her an apple. Yes, they waited until the last second to do the thing we expect a Snow White story to do.
Thankfully, she’s not an idiot and now recognizes her. What happens with her next? I don’t know it just cuts to later as Snow starts a random …Bollywood dance number. Because the filmmakers just said “Fuck it, no one’s gonna see this” at this point.
We see the mirror world blow up ,and it’s kind of implied the queen ate part of the apple…for some reason but it doesn’t properly explain anything.
And of course, this number is where the film ends. Man, they just did not care at this point, did they? One of the messier abrupt endings I’ve seen recently. There is a “Where are they now” type thing but you don’t care, do you? Well, Grimm wrote a book of fairly tales because subtle.
They all lived crappily ever after.
That was incredibly mediocre. Seriously, it was so dull and forgettable that it doesn’t’ even need to exist. The flaws aren’t even interesting until the end where the creators clearly gave up.
I don’t need every version of a story to be 100 percent different, but if you are going to do another Snow White story when we have so many iconic ones, you need to mix it up. Making Snow White fight a bit more isn’t enough.
Even on it’s own, it’s so….boring. I don’t give a shit about the romance because they barely interact, and both characters end up being too dull. They don’t try to update Snow’s character beyond making her fight a bit more.
That was acceptable in other versions due to their execution, but if you want me to care, you gotta try harder. Lily Colins incredibly stale performance doesn’t help, but I blame the lackluster direction on that.
The whole thing just feels kind of pointless. The only interesting points end up being pointless or rushed in the end. It’s kind of bearable, due to having too many hugely painful parts until the end, but it’s not something really worth sitting through.
The Dwarves are kind of fun and Julia Roberts is very amusing until she just gets boring, and it certainly looks nice. But the whole feels just kind of pointless and half assed. It may be a mild diversion for kids or something, but otherwise it’s an easy skip.
And I’m going to forget about it as soon I’m done type thi-wait, what I was talking about it?
Next time, we finish up Swan Princess. Yay.