Director: James Bobin
Starring: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen
This review is spoiler free!
Alice returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. (Source: IMDB)
I’ll start this off by saying that in many ways this is a better film than the first one, but that being said the first one wasn’t very good and neither is this film! However we’ll focus on the positives for now!
As hinted at in the trailer, this film is visually pretty great. The CGI-fest will undoubtedly put a lot of people off, and not all of it sat right with me, but there’s some scenes which are fun to watch. There’s a great sequence set inside a clock that was particularly good.
I really like Mia Wasikowska as Alice. She’s stronger and feistier in this film, and there’s some surprisingly good feminist undertones as Alice strives to prove herself in a man’s world. In the real world scenes, I felt Wasikowska’s performance was particularly good.
As much as I’ve loathed him in recent films (looking at you Grimsby!), I really enjoyed Sacha Baron Cohen as Time. He camps it up to the max, and his name opens up a world of time based puns, some of which genuinely made me laugh!
Indeed the script is breezy and flowing, and there’s very few lulls in the story which make it a mostly entertaining watch.
For me, the story just felt incredibly repetitive and despite the fact this film does exist as a book sequel to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland it felt almost entirely unnecessary. In fact it is a complete deviation from the plot of the book, so I have to question its existence again!
Some of the events particularly towards the end just make me feel like I’ve seen it all before, and sadly it’s left wide open for more sequels; something which I would not welcome! The whole thing just reeks of the desperation to build an Alice franchise and it’s incredibly off-putting.
Despite getting top billing, Depp’s Mad Hatter is not in this film much at all, and mercifully so! Half the time I couldn’t understand what he was saying, and he’s a side character who has no right to be the central character these films are trying to make him. His performance is incredibly annoying and is one of the major reasons why I don’t want to see another Alice film, if it means I have to tolerate watching this character again.
I saw this movie so you don’t have to. I still think this is a better film than the first one, but that really isn’t saying a lot! I wasn’t hating life whilst watching it, and there’s elements I enjoyed, but it just felt entirely unnecessary and I’d be equally happy if this film never existed. Give it a miss.
Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a totally misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Let me know in the comments below!