Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
Director: James Bobin
Writers: Lewis Carroll (book), Linda Woolverton (screenplay)
Alice returns from sea as the Captain of her late fathers vessel to find the hideous and previously betrothed Hamish has seized the deeds to her mothers house and will only exchange them for her fathers ship. Alice strops off and follows a blue butterfly and what could she possibly discover in her exs fathers office but a mirror that leads straight back to Wonderland.
In Wonderland, Alice discovers that the Mad Hatter has fallen dreadfully ill with worry after he concluded that his family is still alive, leaving Alice with the mission of travelling back in time to find out what truly happened to the Hatter family. To travel back in time, Alice needs to go see Time himself to request the use of the Chronosphere, when Time refuses, Alice proceeds to steal it and begin her adventure for answers.
Mia Wasikowska is equally as flat yet oddly charming as she was for the first Alice film. I don’t have much to say on her deliverance. Sacha Baron Cohen stole the show for me, I love to see him embrace his whimsical side (Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables) and still carry his comedy comfortably on his shoulders. Time had the best lines in the film as far as I was concerned, I also enjoyed his costume and the steam-punk-edge of all the piping along the back of his head and neck, really tastefully done. Depp spent most of the film asleep or as a child which I think disappointed my daughter as the Mad Hatter was her favourite character and she didn’t really get to see him in this film. When she did, he was angry and sad or sleeping. Helena and Annie seemed to be major players in this story, the backstory of how the Red Queen came to be was interesting but not well thought out. The story really had nothing to do with them but it was as if the story didn’t have enough guts alone so they needed to add a bit of something. Bonham Carter and Hathaway are both very good in their own rights, embracing their characters once again for good performances.
Alice Through the Looking Glass is yet another unfortunate example of all style and no substance. An aesthetically stereotypical Tim Burton movie. A marvel to view, beautiful sets and outstanding costume design and makeup and CGI. Every aspect of the Palace of Time was jaw-dropping to look at but I found myself bored, as did my daughter and my friends. A let down to say the lease after how enchanting we found the first film. My final paragraph will contain spoilers as to the ending, if you haven’t yet seen the film, I’d advice to not read the last bit!
Alice Through the Looking Glass ends with Alice and her mother going into business together, buying ships and going on adventures. THIS is the Alice movie I want next. It would be nice to see her out of Wonderland (I know that’s kinda of the whole point but this one put me off) and see her Captain her ship alongside her mother discovering new and exotic lands. That’s a film I’d watch and it’s a film my daughter would find empowering.
For fans of: Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Oz the Great and Powerful