As always, it seems that once an idea is floated around Hollywood, you can bet that several projects will inevitably race each other to be the first out across the multiplexes.
The winner release date-wise of the planned remakes of the story of Snow White - Mirror, Mirror - is the more traditional telling of the tale, leaving the more aggressive and darker Snow White And The Huntsman to hope for the teen/maturer audience to find it upon its release.
Here we have a squarely aimed-at-a-family-audience film that tries to replicate what Pixar and Disney have done recently, as in deliver laughs for both children and adults alike. What doesn't help achieve this much- sought-after mix is director Singh, whose first foray into the world of family fun slightly struggles with this balance. His previous films - The Cell and Immortals - have been more style than substance, and there are flashes of that same mentality here. Yes, the sets are at times beautiful to behold (especially the Queen's quarters, all mirrored walls and ornate doors and furniture) and the costumes are dazzling (again, alot of this is down to the Queen) but the emphasis on the telling of a well-worn classic seems to have been put to one side. It may be at odds with the Disney benchmark-setter - this Snow White can handle a sword and stands up to the Queen rather than let "her man" try and fulfill his heroic role instead - but a saccharine-coating covers the proceedings none-the-less.
What does save this from complete averageness is mainly Roberts as a hard-to-not-like evil Queen and Hammer as the equal-in-turns heroic and stupid Prince that both Snow White and the Queen fight over. These two get the lines and moments that allow them to sit in your memory whilst all the others, yes, even including the dwarfs, are banished into the background with uninspiring dialogue and the feel of an after thought around them. Only one dwarf gets to make a little impression (pun intended) and that's mainly because of his infatuation with Snow White and his continued mis-guided belief that she will end up with him rather than the Prince.
When Roberts is not upon the screen devouring the sets with her sharp words or Hammer's shirtless torso with her eyes (a very funny rolling gag), the story sags as Collins' Snow White, despite the modern makeover, cannot hold a candle, or broom, to the Queen and her vain ways.
Not a bad effort but neither enough meat-on-the-bones for the children or adults to keep them fully entertained throughout, it looks like the maturer Snow White And The Huntsman won't have that much to stand in its way - maybe it will be the fairest of them all after all...
UK release date: 02.04.12