Wednesday, June 1, 2016

[Review] Alice Through the Looking Glass

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010) provided a feast of creative visuals and escapist fantasy, but the rest of it left more to be desired. Let's just say audiences weren't exactly demanding a sequel (as the weak opening box office numbers confirm). James Bobin takes the helm for Alice Through the Looking Glass, and there isn't much enticing magic left here.

One thing the film succeeds at is getting practically the entire original cast on board. Mia Wasikowska reprises her role as Alice. Johnny Depp is back as the Mad Hatter. Anne Hathaway appears as the White Queen. And Helena Bonham Carter returns as the Red Queen.

When we catch up with Alice, we learn that she's now a world-class sailor. After some estate drama back home, that nifty little butterfly (voiced by Alan Rickman, R.I.P.) lures Alice back to what the story calls Underland (Seriously y'all, is it Underland or Wonderland?). Turns out, the Mad Hatter is still mad. But this time he's a dark mad. And he wants to find his family. So Alice is forced to travel back in time in order to save the Mad Hatter's parents before he goes off the deep end.

It's all so humorless--the tone is completely drab and the script fails to charm at all. It's convoluted--the narrative acts as both a sequel and a prequel, hopping through different time frames without latching onto a momentous path. And frankly, it's just kind of boring. It's a journey that doesn't feel like a journey. There's little to care about here, and aside from Alice, all of the characters are stilted. It's hard to even tip a hat to the visuals in this one. Instead of being awe-inspiring and eye-popping, the computer animation is more campy and artificial. With all of the clocks, gears, and gadgets, the world takes on more of a steampunk aesthetic--which would be okay if it weren't like a less exquisite version of Hugo (Speaking of Hugo, Sacha Baron Cohen plays a role here as Time itself).

You can't really call Alice Through the Looking Glass a disappointment, because the hopes weren't very high for this sequel in the first place. Either way, a lot of people are going to want their own time back after sitting through this one.

( 4/10 )


  1. We had a choice between this and X-men. Thankfully, my son picked X-men not that X-men was so great or anything but I had no desire to see this film.

  2. X-Men is at least a little better than this one. Alice 2 is a definite waste.