Alice In Wonderland – Review
Tim Burton brings us a new, updated, fully rendered vision of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. Alice In Wonderland is not a remake or even a re-imagining of the original, it is however a sequel. Burton brings 19 year old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) through the rabbit hole during a surprise engagement party. Alice is expected to marry a pompous aristocrat, who happens to be the son of her late father’s business partner. In the middle of the proposal, Alice takes off in pursuit of the White Rabbit, following it to the trunk of a large tree, where she finds the rabbit hole… the entrance to Wonderland. All the characters are represented, from the Cheshire Cat to the White Queen, but to me the world seemed oddly grim, lifeless and vacant. I guess in some ways this keeps a direct focus on the characters in play. There is no “adventure” as Alice travels from point A to B and unfortunately, I found the first half of the film slow and somewhat dull. Even the introduction of Depp’s overly colorful Hatter didn’t win me over… although I really liked the Queen of Hearts.
As the second half of the film reveals Alice’s true destiny, the film picks up considerably. So much so that it felt like jumping from a wagon ride onto the bullet train, as you’re drawn to what could have been an epic finale. I don’t want to ruin the film for anyone, so I’m not going to go there in this review, but there were some shots that absolutely stole the show, but everything else felt like a wash. Overall, I was a little disappointed with Alice’s return to Wonderland and even though I had only seen the Disney original once or twice as a child, I was expecting more. Burton fans will eat this up for the incredible design work and character portrayals. Performances, both acted and voiced are fantastic… although I wasn’t overly impressed with Anne Hathaway’s drug induced White Queen. Maybe I was expecting too much from a children’s story.
Finally, I saw Alice In Wonderland in 3D. The experience seemed inconsistant and a lot of the time ineffective. I really hope film makers stop needlessly using the technology in an attempt to appease a current trend. I mean c’mon, am I the only one that walks out of these films with a migrain!?
Bottom Line, Alice In Wonderland is worth seeing, just don’t expect much and you won’t be disappointed. Keep in mind though, I’m not a huge Burton fan.
Oh yeah, one of the highlights of the film was the official Tron trailer with new Jeff Bridges footage and an opening scene featuring Flynn’s arcade! Overall the footage consisted of mostly new stuff… I can’t wait!