Alice Through the Looking Glass
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Sacha Baron Cohen, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Rhys Ifans
Another day, another unnecessary sequel. The original Alice in Wonderland (2010) director Tim Burton has abandoned the project (still a producer) while The Muppets director James Bobin takes over. For all intents and purposes Alice Through the Looking Glass appears to be the same; familiar cast, characters, and style. However, it’s a complete departure from the book, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, from which it’s based. The original material contains no Time, ships, or time travel and barely a mention of Hatter. Alice 2 is a time travel movie, filled to the brim with pacifying colorful images for children and morals that reflect Disney’s family friendly image. It’s the equivalent of an animated movie with a few live actions shots scattered around.
Now captain of her father’s ship, we find Alice Kingsleigh on the high seas, navigating her men home to London after years of sailing the globe. When the yellow haired girl returns to port, she finds her mother in a financial predicament, and the men of the city appalled at her position as captain. Alice is summoned back to Wits End, but not before telling her mother she doesn’t want to end up like her. Things have also changed in Wonderland, Hatter (Depp) has grown sickly, he is dying Alice quickly diagnoses. Having reason to believe his family, The Hightop’s might still be alive, no one believes the mad hat maker, thrusting him into despair. Alice learns of an artifact that will allow her to travel back in time, which she hopes she can save Hatter’s family and return her friend to happiness.
Will appease children because it’s visual candy, an eccentrically pacifying baby crib mobile would be its greatest use.
Driven by the lust for money, not art, Alice Through the Looking Glass is a mess of a movie. From the uninspired time travel vehicles, to the missed lesson on selfishness, it’s all worthless pizzazz and no spirit. The wordplay in this sequel is less entertaining than the original, only getting a brief moment of rhyme when Hatter and his tea time friends have some fun with the anxious Time (Cohen). As detested as he is in Borat or Bruno, it’s actually the misunderstanding of the time character that gives the movie any weight at all. For purposes of simplification and necessity, Time is portrayed as the villain, but learning his true purpose is the stories only intelligent plot line.
The film touches on respecting parents, the consequences of lying, and other useful morals that young kids can benefit from. However, the visual style of these films drowns everything from morals, performances, even Colleen Atwood’s costumes or the production design just all look like melted crayons poured into a kaleidoscope and spray vomited floor to ceiling. The bloated use of special effects makes you feel as if you are using a looking glass to find any remnant of something organic. Alice Through the Looking Glass will appease children because it’s visual candy, an eccentrically pacifying baby crib mobile would be its greatest use. For those easily entertained, amused, craving more of the same entertainment junk food they have already tasted, this might work. For those seeking a new, challenging or throught provoking experience, you won’t find it here.
A repugnant experience for anyone seeking something unique or creative.