Alice In Wonderland
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.
“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
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