Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

In Theatres: 
Mar 05, 2010
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 49 Minutes

The visuals are some of the best but the story and characters are either a hit or miss.

Tim Burton once again teams up with Johnny Depp to bring a new twist to the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland.  Based on the original novel as well as Through the Looking Glass, the film follows a 19 year old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) as she accidentally returns to Wonderland to find the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) reigning supreme and the lands inhabitants living in fear.

The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) has been searching for the Alice that came to Wonderland all those years ago. Only she can be the chosen one who will slay the Red Queen's Jabberwock. Alice believes that she isn't the same one everyone is searching for. With the help of a few friends including the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) and the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), Alice finally realizes her potential and stands up for all of Wonderland against the Red Queen.

This isn't the same Disney cartoon we all grew up with as a child. Tim Burton's version is much darker and frightening, just as you would imagine. Fortunately, all our favorite characters remain relatively the same. Notable appearances include Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar and Matt Lucas as both Tweedledee and Tweedledum. There characters, along with Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, are the standouts of the film. Surprisingly, Depp is rather dull as the Hatter. He has his moments but I found him to be more annoying than mad with his random changing of accents and quirky expressions.

Alice in Wonderland is one of the most visually pleasing films of the year so far. The way Wonderland is presented is simply beautiful, combining reality with a mix of CGI. The environments, the colors, it all looks fantastic. The fact that the film is also in Disney Digital 3D also makes everything pop.

While the story differs, most of the lore remains the same and you'll smile at many of the familiar references to the classic animated film. Still, there was something lacking to the tale. Perhaps it was too focused on the climatic battle towards the end or tried too hard to fit as much from the novels as possible, but the story didn't quite do it for me. It was good, just not great.

As much as Alice in Wonderland was being hyped, I couldn't help but feel somewhat letdown with the film. The visuals are some of the best but the story and characters are either a hit or miss. The film is easily worth seeing and you won't be disappointed. Just don't go in expecting the best from Depp and Burton. 

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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