Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh
Johnny Depp as the Hatter
Anne Hathaway as Mirana
Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth
Sacha Baron Cohen as Time
Directed by Tim Burton
Captain Alice returns to London from a voyage aboard her father’s ship, the Wonder, only to discover that in order to keep their home, her mother has signed the ship over to Alice’s once betrothed. She will work as a clark for their shipping company instead. Wait. Nope. This is THE Alice. With her muchness and all that jazz. She steps through a mirror, guided by Absolem (Alan Rickman’s final film performance), to a world without the Hatter. Everyone needs her to help him, so she finds Time, steals his Chronosphere, and attempts to travel through time to save the Hatter. Time warns her that one cannot change the past, and as she learns this, she realizes that she didn’t need to travel to save Hatter-all she needs to do is believe him.
Welp, another gloriously costumed film by Tim Burton doesn’t disappoint, visually. Other elements feel played out, but it’s a decent family film, with plenty of cheese from Cohen, Depp, Bonham Carter, and of course, the ever-swishy Hathaway. I did like:
- the effects. Of course I did. They’re magical. This is Wonderland, after all.
- Time’s little teapot second. Tick tick tick TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK! So cute.
- The queens’ backstory. Finally we find out why Iracebeth is so awful. Stupid little sister. All over a tart.
- The fun ties to the first film. I really enjoy it when films work together. Makes me think I know stuff that maybe I shouldn’t?
And then, the struggles:
- Sacha Baron Cohen. I’ve never really been able to stomach him. He’s a Burton stand-by, though. He’s so hard to understand! And is all of that verbal diarrhea in the script, or is he like Robin Williams and Jim Carrey? Whatever. He annoys me.
- It’s honestly a little boring. It’s basically just a big back story, which I get, since it’s a time travel movie (we get to see the Jabberwocky again! He’s cool), but geez. Colorful costumes and crazy effects (Iracebeth now has fruit/vegetable people as her guards. What happened to her playing cards?) can only take you so far.
- Why is Alice even here? It doesn’t feel like her story at all. And Mirana? What a ridiculous attempt at being royal here. She’s so wishy-washy! Alice, we were HOPING you’d show up and fix everything for us! Blech. No girl power there.
- Mother Kingsleigh suddenly being on Alice’s side. WTH?! Since when? Alice is the outcast, and mum’s basically screwed up everything for her daughter since day one. Suddenly they’re all palsy-walsy? Nope. Not buying it.
Weepy Meter: 2/10 It has its moments. Not many, but again: music and cliches. Burton gave us these things in spades. Or hearts? You decide.
Man Meter: 2/10 Unless he loves Burton, he may just hang out with the guys while you chill in the theater. Bring a sweater–no snuggles to keep you warm in the frosty auditorium that is EVERY movie theater ever.
Overall Rating: 5/10 When I’m bored, I just can’t not be frustrated. I didn’t get bored until well into the second act, but I got there. Too bad. So much potential.