Probably like you, I looked at this “Snow White” project and thought “this is going to be lame.” But other than some cheesy-looking indoor sets that are supposed to portray outdoor wintry snow settings and a few action sequences that look badly staged, MM proves to be lots of fun. Leave your preconceptions at home and join the party.
Julia Roberts plays the Evil Queen…..working on her sixth rich husband. Lily Collins plays SW. She has never been kissed. She is pure as the driven snow. And cute too. Armie Hammer plays rich Prince Charming and was last kissed by Leonardo DiCaprio in J. Edgar. Nathan Lane is the EQ’s right hand toady man, doing his best to cope with a bad boss.
The 7 dwarves are a little different than the Disney version. They dress like Waterworld smokers and Mad Max villains and forget about Heigh Ho-ing their way to work. They become Zorro on stilts and rob passers-by. Even though under 4 feet tall, they take no lip from nobody including a sassy Prince. Eventually they put SW through a form of Yoda boot camp and she ends up a JEDI princess.
Meanwhile back at the castle, Evil Queen throws parties and makes plans to marry AH with time thrown in for make-overs and spell casting as it suits her purpose.
All is scripted for fun, and fun is what they deliver. The sets, other than those mentioned above, are spectacular, as are the costuming and computer generated images. Lots of freedom is taken to wander from the original story line while throwing jokes around like Don Rickles at an Elks convention. And almost everything in the film works. Right where you expect the film to drag they come up with a new surprise that moves the story forward and delights the viewer. Little kids might be a trifle frightened by the updated dragon and the scary forest scenes but will love the icky bug and snake filled evil queen makeover scene. I did (and you know how big the kid in me is).
Alan Menkin provides a perfect score and high energy end title song that may add to his count of 8 music Oscars. His prior wins include Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin, etc.
Be sure to stay for the end titles which add story wrap up and a musical number that seems to be having fun with the Slumdog Millionaire ending. Heigh Ho Heigh Ho it’s off to the movies you go.
Rated 3.5 out of 4.0 reasons not to eat the apple but not to miss the fun.