Way back in 2010 Tim Burton delivered Alice In Wonderland. I watched it, instantly forgot it, and then ended up rather surprised when it managed to gross over a billion bucks. I suppose that number warrants a sequel? If so, you’d think it wouldn’t have taken six years to churn one out, and why isn’t Burton back to direct? Regardless, the point is that I can’t say I’m particularly excited for the movie. Maybe it’ll surprise me though.
Like Alice In Wonderland, Alice Through The Looking Glass is a shiny, generally harmless and mostly forgettable film. It begins with Alice (Mia Wasikowska) , who is now a sea captain, making her way back to Wonderland. At first she’s excited to see everyone, but her happiness is quickly squashed once she discovers that the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is in trouble. He’s become certain that his long-thought dead family is actually alive, but since no one believes him, he’s depressed and withering away. Naturally, Alice agrees to help (otherwise it would have been a really short movie), and what follows is a bunch of time traveling and general fantasy adventure tomfoolery. Some of it is pretty cool – the sea of time that Alice traverses is very neatly designed, and Time himself is not only visually fascinating, but Sascha Baron Cohen plays the character with a perfect mix of charm, wit and seriousness. Other parts, however, are a lot less compelling. Everything related to the Mad Hatter is flat and uninteresting, and I just didn’t care at all about him or his missing family. The same can be said for the White (Anne Hathaway) and Red (Helena Bonham Carter) Queens, who have their own shoehorned subplot that bored the hell out of me. I get the need to include all of the familiar faces (it is a sequel after all), but I sure would have liked to have seen them used in a much more clever way.
If you ask me, I think you should skip the film and all of its hollowness. Then again, it’s pretty to look at and I do suppose there are worse ways to pass the time.
One Last Thought:
I’d really like to see Johnny Depp in something normal again. No makeup, no weird voice, no silly costume - just regular Depp as a regular dude. Hell, now I’m wondering if I would even recognize his bare face.