The classic, quintessentially British story continues 13 years on, as Alice, 19, returns to find that her once magical Wonderland, (now war-torn Underworld), has fallen under the tyrannical rule of the Red Queen. Aided by a few fan favourites, Alice sets out on a quest; to find the Vorpal Sword, liberate her friends, and lead the White Queen’s army to victory against the Red Queen, her legion of cards and the fearsome Jabberwocky on the Frapjous Day. An avid Alice fan, I was deeply disappointed with Burton’s rendition. Though plentiful at first, references to Carroll’s original text are treated with reckless abandon. A fast-paced start sees the story flit from idea to idea, in a seemingly desperate bid to cram as much Wonderland as possible into Burton’s ‘Underworld’; never dwelling on one idea long enough to fully establish it and with no regard for the context in which it is shown. These sporadic glimpses will, no doubt, delight devoted fans, while serving as a confusing distraction to those unfamiliar with the text.
Mia Wasikowska’s Alice is petulant, dim-witted and at times, more than slightly irritating; while Depp’s portrayal of the deliciously deranged Mercury-addled hatter, appears at first glance to be nothing more than a combination of Captain Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka.
In typical Burton style, stripy socks, unnervingly twisted flash-backs, and Helena Bonham Carter are in abundance; (no one could mistake this for any other director), and Tim makes the almost unforgivable mistake of detailing the ending at the start of the film.
This film is ‘almost Alice’, and most certainly not ‘absolutely Alice’.
Beth Cook, Film Editor
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