Alice In Wonderland

"Good"

Alice In Wonderland Review


The visual inventiveness in this film is so impressive that it almost makes up for the ill-conceived script, which tries to turn Lewis Carroll's classic tales into a Lord of the Rings-sized post-apocalyptic adventure epic.

It's been 13 years since Alice (Wasikowska) visited Wonderland, although she now believes it was all a dream. When she falls down that rabbit hole again, she doesn't remember anyone, but they remember her, and soon she's involved in a series of portentous events involving the nasty Red Queen (Bonham Carter), her nice sister, the White Queen (Hathaway), and a mythical dragon called Jabberwocky (Lee). She's helped through this by the Hatter (Depp), a smiling cat (Fry), a blue caterpillar (Rickman), two chubby twins (Lucas) and a white rabbit (Sheen), among others.

The film follows on from the events of both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, filling each scene with references to the books in both the visual design and the dialog, which is witty and snappy and often wonderfully absurd. The gifted actors play each scene with a bundle of tics and telling details that make the characters almost overpoweringly vivid. And this is no mean feat since several are digitally enhanced: Depp's enlarged eyes, Bonham Carter's huge head, Glover's elongated frame, Lucas' roundness.

But these visual touches actually make the characters more interesting, especially when combined with the clever performances. Because there's otherwise very little to hold our interest. The main problem is that Alice actually takes almost no journey at all; she's just as imaginative and strong-willed at the start as at the end, after she supposedly rediscovers herself. And the plot is annoyingly over-structured, with big action at specific intervals and a calculated balance of emotion and comic relief. In other words, it feels generated by studio software rather than the free-form genius of Lewis Carroll.

This might not be a problem for youngsters unfamiliar with the source material.

They'll enjoy the film's stunning imagery (the 3D is almost irrelevant). But there's no tension in the plot; despite all of the life-threatening situations, we never fear for Alice's safety. And as a result, the movie almost feels dull.

Fortunately Burton continually wakes us up with something visually spectacular, which just about makes it worth seeing.



Alice In Wonderland

Facts and Figures

Genre: Kids/Family

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th March 2010

Box Office USA: $319.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $1B

Budget: $200M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures, Roth Films, Team Todd, Zanuck Company, The, Tim Burton Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 51%
Fresh: 135 Rotten: 129

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Richard D. Zanuck, ,

Starring: as The Mad Hatter, as The White Queen, as The Red Queen, as The Knave of Hearts, as Alice Kingsley, as Charles Kingsley, as Tweedledee / Tweedledum, as Helen Kingsley, as Lord Ascot, as Aunt Imogene, as The White Rabbit (voice), as The Caterpillar (voice), as The Jabberwocky (voice), as The Cheshire Cat (voice), as The Bloodhound (voice), as The March Hare (voice), as The Dormouse (voice), as The Dodo (voice), as Tall Flower Faces (voice), as Fiona Chattaway

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