A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: James Bobin
Written By: Linda Woolverton
Produced By: Tim Burton, Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Todd
Starring: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Sacha Baron Cohen
Running Time: 113 Minutes
It’s no surprise that following the gargantuan financial success of Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland (2010), we’d eventually be presented with a sequel that bombarded onto the scene with enormous flair, wonder and colourfulness. It’s also no surprise that Johnny Depp would reprise the role of The Mad Hatter in order to deliver yet another whimsical, fanciful performance from beneath a smothering of makeup – whatever works I guess.
In the age where lucrative franchises are milked to their last drop and then squeezed just a little more, it actually seems rather peculiar that six years has passed between the original billion-dollar-grossing juggernaut and its sequel.
It seems the iron has cooled down significantly in this time, therefore effecting the impact of the seldom-awaited Alice Through The Looking Glass.
The concept of time within films is always a fascinating element to explore and juggle. Often perplexing on an audience and very difficult to intelligently execute, warped time, other dimensions and overall relativity are often passed off as fantasy in order to avoid painful sequences of exposition.
A property such as Alice In Wonderland has the luxury of fantasy and imagination at its disposal, and for the most part, James Bobin’s sequel handles the elements of time travel, dreamscapes and memory with enthusiasm and excitability.
Although seeing the return of familiar faces such as Little Britain’s Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum as well as Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway as the diametrically opposed sisters (some with with disproportionately sized heads), the majority of their screen time is spent in the periphery, adding next to no impact whatsoever until they’re shoehorned in to the narrative towards the climax of the film. Hathaway in particular seems wasted as Mirana, as she is often seen out of focus looking elsewhere from behind the action that is mostly occupied by Depp’s outrageous curly red hair.
For what was a predictable, by-the-numbers and overly belated follow-up to the otherwise disposable reboot from six years ago, Alice Through The Looking Glass provided enough fantastical wonder, charm and imaginative imagery to keep us entertained enough as to warrant its existence.
Forgettable and silly, the sequel proved to be significantly more enveloping than one would’ve thought leading in.
If not for Baron Cohen’s efforts as Time, some of the stunning visuals and surrealist concepts are worth a look as they make the most of contemporary visual effects, having a lot of fun in the process.
And as for whether or not we’ll get a third instalment in the series? Only time will tell…