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At the movies – Alice In Wonderland review

Alice In Wonderland

Rated: PG

Running Time: 108 mins

Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway

Release Date: 4th March, 2010

Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland” has been one of the most anticipated films of the year. And it does sound like a perfect match – the weird and wonderful Lewis Carroll story brought to life by the weird and wonderful director, who has taken us on many a strange trip in films such as “Edward Scissorhands”. But unfortunately, like the character of Alice, it’s missing its muchness.

The story is a mix between two of Carroll’s books “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”, given a good Disney water down by screenwriter Linda Woolverton. The film begins with Alice as a child, asking her father if her dreams of wonderland means she’s crazy. Thirteen years later her friends and family are asking the same, as 19-year-old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) questions marrying the icky Hamish (Leo Bill), just because he’s a Lord, her looks won’t last, and she wouldn’t want to end up like her crazy Aunt.

Alice is saved from answering his proposal by a white rabbit in a waistcoat, which she chases down a rabbit hole. A quick shrinking, growing and shrinking later, Alice is back in Wonderland, only she has forgotten she was ever there. The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) still remembers, and along with his collection of odd friends, tries to convince Alice it’s her destiny to help them fight the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and restore the throne to the good White Queen (Anne Hathaway).

It should be a fun trip to another world, but this version of “Alice In Wonderland” lacks energy, so it was hard to get swept up in the story. The 3D feels very much like an afterthought, or I should say, an “after Avatar thought”, and doesn’t add anything to the film. That was the biggest disappointment for me, because if any fictional world lends itself to another dimension, it’s Wonderland.

On the plus side the design and effects are exceptional, in particular the quirky costumes and the bizarre looking Red Queen, and Mia Wasikowska proves she was an excellent choice for the lead. She’s beautiful to watch, bringing a quiet strength to her role. This is just the beginning for the young Aussie actress; we will be seeing a lot more from her in the future.

Johnny Depp is wonderful as always, slipping between accents and states of sanity; and Helena Bonham Carter is a lot of fun to watch as the Red Queen.

Reviewed by Alicia Malone

Reviewed by Alicia Malone

“Alice In Wonderland” has its fun moments, but its just a little more Disney cute and bland then I was hoping it would be.

3 out of 5

Reviewed by Alicia Malone

For a complete guide to what’s worth watching at the cinema, tune into Movie Juice this Saturday night on Movie Extra.

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2 Responses to “At the movies – Alice In Wonderland review”

  1. Alice’s journey starts at the common place of social inadequacy and keeps the track of the character that finds itself in the way of its own faith and finally accepts it. Nothing new.

  2. alice in wonderland video says:

    I was able to catch a prescreening of Alice in Wonderland tonight on March 2nd. Despite some pretty nifty visuals, and jaw dropping set pieces, I found the movie to be incredibly dull, flat, and utterly full of itself. The film is merely a vehicle for Johnny Depp to showcase his talents, and he portrays the Mad Hatter as an actor who can’t quite find the right shoes to fill in the role. He rotates from a Scottish brogue, to a feminine lisp, and staggers once in awhile as the unmistakable character of Captain Jack Sparrow. Where the visuals triumph, the story lacks. The proposed ‘sequel’ to Alice in Wonderland is literally a rehash of most of the finer points of the original, except a lot more Johnny Depp- a character who the audience is supposed to sympathize with and root for, but who i found a bit annoying and tiresome after awhile. The plot is fairly simple. Alice (the stone faced, newcomer Mia Wasisoska whose acting is limited to mildly concerned, mildly puzzled, and mildly agitated) flees from an arranged marriage proposal from a wealthy lord. She follows a curious white rabbit and tumbles down a hole into Underland, referred to as Wonderland by Alice. She then meets a variety of odd characters, most of them familiar from the original Alice. The plot is fairly simplistic, and a tad boneheaded. The Red Queen (Bonham Carter, slightly overdoing it, but arguably the best actor of the bunch) rules the land, but is pitted against the tiresome goodness and light of her sister, The White Queen (Hathaway doing an air-headed imitation of, you guessed it, Captain Jack Sparrow). Alice is destined by some ancient scroll to defeat the Jabberwocky and end The Red Queen’s reign of terror. Alice boils down to mere eye candy-something that is visually pleasing, but is only a piece of fluff. If your a fan of Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this movie is right up your ally. I prefer Burton at his best with movies that attempt to involve the audience like Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, and Big Fish. However, this bloated mess is sure to rank in hundreds of millions of dollars, but it tugs at our wallets rather than our hearts. It’s a scary thought, but I hope that Burton’s best work isn’t behind him. 4/10

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