Friday, 3 June 2016

Alice Through The Looking Glass

As an avid Alice In Wonderland fan (no seriously), this was a bit of a hit and miss for me.

The sequel to Tim Burton’s 2010 hit adaptation, ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ follows Alice into Wonderland for another adventure. When the Hatter (Johnny Depp) begins to exhibit some strange and worrisome behaviour, Alice (Australian actress Mia Wasikoska) is called upon by her friends to try and help him, only to be told the answer lies in a seemingly impossible journey. From here, it is a literal race against Time (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) as Alice is catapulted to the past to try and save her friend’s future (with the help of some strange and wonderful creatures, of course).

The positives: Once again, Mia Wasikowska’s performance as Alice is entertaining and definitely a stand out. Her portrayal of the headstrong and hardy Alice is a refresher from the ‘damsel in distress’ archetypes we see frequently in films as Alice’s fearlessness helps to drive the film forward. Sacha Baron Cohen’s performance as Time was another standout, with his charm and charisma helping to create some of the comedic relief alongside his band of home-made robot friends. As well as this, the visuals are once again stunning: vibrant and eye catching, the use of CGI really immerses the audience into Wonderland without the scenery feeling overly fake or staged.

The negatives: One of the big issues I had with this film was the pacing. I feel there were just too many locations and not enough time for the audience to gain a connection to any of them before being moved somewhere else. This made the film feel out of balance and began to get distracting by the time we reached the middle. Also, I feel as though director James Bobin failed to strike the delicate balance between ‘quirkiness’ and ‘tackiness’ that was done by Tim Burton in the first film. We’ve had clear evidence that the actors in this film certainly have talent (Anne Hathaway in 2012’s ‘Les Miserables’, Helena Bonham-Carter in the 2010 drama ‘The King’s Speech’ to name a few), but it seems as though each of them felt the need to overact their parts, which led to a lack of continuity from the first film and ultimately started to become jarring.

Although kids will certainly enjoy this film, if you are an avid fan of the franchise (or the books!) you may come away disappointed. Wonderland needs just a touch of darkness and fear of the unknown, and although its beauty and imagery is amazing, this film had much more potential.

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