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Mirror Mirror


Stars: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Sean Bean, Mare Winningham, Michael Lerner

Director: Tarsem Singh

Suddenly, 74 years after Disney, Snow White is everywhere. The old girl has worn well, and comes up button-bright in the form of raven-haired Collins (daughter of Phil), although she might not be too pleased with this penny-plain version of her story, which, like the Wicked Queen, seems more concerned with its appearance than anything else, and serves mainly as a vehicle for Roberts as the ruthless ruler.

Not that Roberts is unamusing in the role; still aiming to be the prettiest woman of them all, the 40something queen has virtually imprisoned her daughter Snow White, who gets out on her 18th birthday and is appalled to see how the kingdom is suffering. After crashing the Queen's grand ball and bewitching the local prince (Hammer), the feisty lass soon finds herself banished to the forest, where a huntsman has been ordered to kill her.

Escaping this fate, she is reluctantly taken in by a group of dwarfish rebels...

The dwarfs themselves are fun for a while, but Hammer is blandness itself as the prince, and Bean further deadens proceedings by coming on as the King; he really should stick to rugged action roles. The film is more family-friendly than any other version since the Disney classic (which was itself a bit scary for younger children), although this one one will probably bore the little mites, even if they might be frightened by 'the beast'.

Shimmering snowscapes do add to the film's impressive look. Like the queen's apple, though, it ain't so good when you bite into it.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Technicolor.
106 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 01 Apr 2012