Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

 

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

MPAA Rating: PG

Director: Tim Burton

Review Rating: 8

 Alice returns to Wonderland after an absence of some years, to find the Red Queen has taken over everything, and joins the battle with the White Queen against the Jabberwocky.

Okay, first off, we adore Tim Burton. Sweeney Todd, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and wait, are we seeing a pattern here? They all have Johnny Depp in them. And don’t get me wrong, I think Depp is a fine actor, but well, I still think the role of Hatter should have either been done differently, or given to someone else. Regardless, on with the review!

So Alice is back out in the real world, is 19, and her elders are planning a marriage for her, because that’s what proper English girls in this time period do, after all. And at the reception where Alice is supposed to be proposed to, the White Rabbit shows up! Down the rabbit hole we go, and off into adventure! Wonderland looks more or less exactly as I imagined it would, even years after Alice’s original adventure, wherein the Red Queen has enacted a reign of terror – the land still looks amazing, and we expect nothing less of Burton.

Yes, we still have the iconic characters Wonderland has to have, but a lot of them struck me as well, disappointing in this take on them. For example, I thought it was perfect when I heard Alan Rickman was going to be doing the voice for the Caterpillar. And it is, but, the Caterpillar is tiny and barely has like three scenes in the entire movie – aww. Tweedledee and Tweedledum are played by the same person, Matt Lucas, who does a good job, but I don’t understand why those two were CGI’d to look like walking punching bags. The Cheshire cat is done entirely with CGI, which I admit was a huge disappointment, even with Stephen Fry of V for Vendetta fame doing the voice. I adored Crispin Glover as Stayne, the Knave of Hearts, for all that yes he is a bad guy. Helena Bonham Carter does a very fine job as the Red Queen herself, although I would have figured the movie directors would have her screaming a lot more. And the fluttery way Anne Hathaway portrayed the White Queen is charming and funny.

As for the actual story, given that it is an adventure after Alice’s original adventure, it’s mostly okay. It would have been nice if that fact had been advertised with the trailers, but we can’t have everything. The Mad Hatter was never meant to be a hero, not like this anyway, and while I do think Johnny Depp did a good job for the part they gave him, the vague Irish accent and the mumbling of a great deal of his lines almost gave me fits. Seeing Alice chase after a dragon, the Jabberwocky that’s right folks it’s supposed to be a dragon, they did get that right, in full armor with that magical sword, was a little odd for me. I did enjoy the Red Queen’s Card troops versus the White Queen’s Chess pieces during the final battle though.

Like Avatar, the scenery is magical and wonderful, especially in 3D (if it doesn’t give you a headache), just ignore those plot twinges and stare at the pretty!

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