When I wrote about ending the Snow White “war” last week, I said it was over not because one movie was better than the other, but because they’re targeting totally different demographics and there would be little audience crossover. (Really, Relativity needs to worry about Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, as it comes out just two weeks before Mirror, Mirror.)
Yeah, I take that back.
The first trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman was slick, stylish and decidedly grown up. In comparison, the first trailer for Relativity/Tarsem Singh’s Mirror, Mirror is bright and cheery and definitely for children and straight up AWFUL. Like, I was deeply embarrassed for everyone in it, especially Armie Hammer. And the Snow White war is now over because Mirror, Mirror looks repellent. After sitting through the bland, lackluster Immortals, I was thinking that at least we had Mirror, Mirror to look forward to, that it would be a return to Tarsem’s vividly colored visuals. And yes, on that score, it does look more like the Tarsem that made The Fall. But then people open their mouths and start talking and it’s just a fontrum horrorshow.
Let’s start with Julia Roberts’ accent. It starts out English, then goes Southern, then she’s just talking like herself and it’s distracting. She’s also oddly miscast, isn’t she? I thought casting Julia Roberts as a bitchy evil queen was a no-brainer, but this movie looks considerably stupider than I initially expected and Roberts is falling particularly flat. I kind of think Sarah Jessica Parker would have been a better fit (think Hocus Pocus). Then there’s Nathan Lane, who appears to be reprising his role in The Birdcage, except phoning it in and delivering lines like they make him ashamed. And poor Hammer is reduced to a live-action Bugs Bunny.
As for Snow herself, Lily Collins, she reads like a human version of the Disney cartoon. She spins and gyrates and gushes her lines with wide-eyed wonder, like something out of a Taylor Swift perfume ad. The part where she’s dueling with the prince is promising but then he opens his mouth and out comes a hilariously bad bit of dialogue and the moment passes. She could end up pulling this off but to what end? She’s still stuck in this hysterically terrible-looking movie.
So no, this is no cause for concern for Universal and Huntsman. But I do think it’s cause for concern for Tarsem. He seems to have lost his mind.
(Lainey: to add to Sarah’s comments on Julia Roberts’s seemingly ridiculous performance - this is Vivian from Pretty Woman! Playing the Evil Queen! Right down to the laugh! Also, who actually uses voiceovers like this anymore for real movies?)