Monday, 13 June 2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Following her recent trip to Underland to avoid marrying a repulsive odious man, Alice (Mia Wasikowsk) is now a captain of the ship, sailing the sea, dodging pirates and bring riches to the shores of England. Upon arrival back in England, after three years of traveling, she learns that her ex-fiancĂ©, Hanish Ascot, has taken over her father’s business and demands her father’s ship in return for her family home. In a bid to avoid signing the deal, Alice escapes to Underland through a mirror (running away from her problems…again). 

There she learns that The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is very ill and convinced that his parents are still alive. Nobody believes him, not even Alice. The only way to be sure is to go back him time and find out what happened, only Time (Sasha baron Cohen) himself can help Alice do this.

About six years ago (six years? Time flies) Tim Burton’s mash up of many of Lewis Carroll’s novels made over $1,000,000,000 dollars at the Box Office, a sequel wasn’t surprising but the amount of time it took was somewhat. Whilst the first film was entertaining, it was no masterpiece. The plot wandered and meandered as much as Alice did when she encountered the various magical creatures of Underland. Still, it’s unchallenging, basic plot and a colourful characters made it a pleasant enough ride. 

In contrast James Bobin’s sequel (written by Linda Woolverton) tries something less narratively straight forward than the simple tale of Alice fulfilling her prophecy and destroying the Jabberwocky by having Alice go back in time and save the Mad Hatter’s family who The Hatter believes, contrary to everyone else, are alive. Much like the first one, the sequel feels as though it leaps from one extravagant set piece to another without really creating a narrative that’s engaging and feels seemingly linked together but unlike the first one there’s no sense of pleasant enjoyment to be had as it’s too busy and too chaotic.

The set pieces and set designs are certainly exceptional, and the costume design as well is great (the first film film won an Oscar for costume design six years ago) but the film becomes undone because of the disjointed narrative and the returning characters who seem to have become far more annoying than I remember them to be, particularly Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter (who has his own ‘Bilbo’ moment). Depp’s constant pratting about, playing demented old balls has become rather tiring and thus the character of the Mad Hatter is actually rather difficult to tolerate. On the other hand, Helana Bonham Carter steals the show once again which a great impression of Queen Elizabeth from Blackadder.

The lack of a compelling narrative just means the film feels like a charmless GCI adventure, devoid of any threat. On the whole it’s just a bit on the dull side.



  1. That's about how I felt. I didn't hate it, but it was nothing special.

  2. Yeah, my feelings about this movie are pretty much the same as well.

    Good review.

    - Zach