I am ashamed to say that I was kind of bored and disappointed with MirrorMask. I say ashamed because I am a big fan of screenwriter Neil Gaiman. Iíve read almost everything heís written, whether it be comic books, childrenísí books, novels, or short stories. (I say almost because heís written a LOT of material, and Iím sure some stuff has slipped through the cracks.)
But MirrorMask is supposed to be Neil Gaimanís and artist / designer / director Dave McKeanís new Labyrinth or Dark Crystal for the Jim Henson company. Those movies are cult classics with die hard fans, and MM will have some hardcore fans because Gaiman and McKean have hardcore fans, but sadly, itís no new classic.
MirrorMask tells the story of Helena, an unhappy, artistic young lady and her bizarre adventure in a fantastic world. Itís basically a coming of age story where an unhappy girl realizes the importance of what she has, but in McKeanís hands, it becomes a surreal head trip; The Muppets on Crack.
Gaiman and McKean have collaborated many times, most notably on the Sandman comics, for which McKean provided all the covers. His is an edgy, kind of bizarre art style, which I definitely respect, but itís just not my thing.
While I really like Gaimanís writing, itís not alwaysÖgreat. Itís usually interesting and very inventive, but sometimes his stories leave me kinda unimpressed.
Unfortunately, I think MirrorMask is too long, and kind of slow. Coupled with some of the way too bizarre for me visuals, it just didnít work that well for me.
That being said, I kept up on the production of this movie, and I know how low the budget was, etc., and so I give the team a lot of credit. They did a lot with what they had to work with. Iíll always give either one of these gentsí projects a chance, and look forward to Stardust, directed by Matthew Vaughn, based on a classic Gaiman illustrated book turned novel, and further down the line, Death: The High Cost Of Living, a classic Gaiman comic mini series to be adapted for the screen and directed by Gaiman himself.
I might sound like I didnít like this movie at all, but I did, and I think anybody whoís into weird fantasy should check it out. Itís not for the wee little ones, but most kids will like the visuals. I hope it does as well as a little film can do.