Alice Through the Looking Glass

by Alan Rapp on May 27, 2016

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Alice Through the Looking Glass
  • IMDb: link

Alice Through the Looking GlassOther than the bizarre Burtonian designs of the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) I remember almost nothing of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. Six years later Tim Burton reassembles the cast for a sequel one studio executive, and possibly some other people somewhere, thought would be a good idea. Six years from now I wonder if I will remember anything about this film.

With Burton taking a backseat as producer this time around, James Bobin (The Muppets, The Muppets Most Wanted) steps into the director’s chair. Burton’s fingerprints are all over the film so we can’t really call it Bobin’s movie, but there are some humorous touches that could come from the director.

Set several years after the first film, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is now a ship’s captain who is pulled back into Wonderland by either A) a friend in need or B) her inability to deal with the stress losing her ship to her ex-fiance. You can decide for yourself whether you believe Alice is an adventurer or a troubled young woman with mental problems she deals with through detailed hallucinations.

Returning to Wonderland to help save the Mad Hatter’s growing unease, Alice will break all the rules – including Time itself (Sacha Baron Cohen). Familiar face return including the Red Queen, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway stuck in a character design which doesn’t suit her), the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), and Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), but Alice is obviously the star as she journeys through time seeking a way to lift the spirits of the Mad Hatter by saving the lives of his family. And, of course, over the course of the adventure she will learn valuable lessons she will apply to her own life outside of Wonderland.

Wasikowska does her duty by carrying the film and Alice is a strong female lead. The movie also unarguably has a visual flourish and larger-than-life supporting characters. So why does every frame of it feel so… forgettable? Is it that we don’t care about her quest? Or is it simply that we as an audience know, well before our protagonist, that she is searching for all the wrong answers in all the wrong places? Alice Through the Looking Glass may provide you with a couple of hours of distraction, but if you are looking for anything more you probably want to book reservations for somewhere other than Wonderland.

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