Alice Through the Looking Glass may make anyone who’s hit puberty want to look away for a better family-friendly film
|“That watch is NEVER gonna fit on my wrist!” Alice (Mia Wasikowska) gets a look at the Grand Clock of time in a scene from ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. Credit: Disney Pictures. All rights reserved.|
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). But the Mad Hatter is not himself – for he has lost his muchness and no one seems to know why, save for perhaps the Hatter himself. For he is convinced his family is alive, which prompts Mirana the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) to send Alice on a new mission: Find the Chronosphere from Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen) and see what she can do to help save the Hatter’s life. For the Chronosphere will allow Alice to travel throughout time and – while she cannot change the past – she might learn something that may help figure out how to save his life.But of course, if Iracabeth the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) wasn’t involved in the story, Alice’s quest wouldn’t be the same now, would it?
Alice Through the Looking Glass looks like it should be good. After all, the cast is solid, the visuals are good and there is enough of a pedigree present to make this Tim Burton-produced (he didn’t direct this one; that task fell upon James Bobin of Muppets Most Wanted infamy). Likewise, Wasikowska does a formidable job as Alice, making her a convincing lead character that is equal parts courageous and courteous, strong and yet sensitive. And Bonham Carter delivers a very enjoyable performance as the Red Queen, delivering much needed humor that doesn’t feel as zany (but not out of place, mind you) as that as delivered by Baron Cohen as the embodiment of time as a half human, half machine creature.
There’s just one – well, more than one, but that’s not the expression now is it? – problem: Alice Through the Looking Glass is boring, suitable mostly only for children (ages 12 and younger) from start to finish and is fairly predictable for far too long before it garners any intrigue. I don’t say this because I found myself fighting sleep for the first 40 minutes of the film … But because the guy next to me at the screening I saw DID fall asleep … As did the guy behind me. Throw in the fact the women next to me offered up an “eh” shoulder shrug at the end of the film and the claps that were to be heard quickly faded into the larger surrounding silence and you’ll come to the same conclusion I did: This paint by numbers feature isn’t exactly a fabulous fairy tale after all.Does Alice Through the Looking Glass add anything to the tale of Alice in Wonderland or the Tim Burton 2010 release? No, not in particular. Is it horrible? No – it’s just slooooooowwww. Too slow. And the whole Chronosphere time travel device thing never comes together as it should; sadly, while Sacha Baron Cohen plays his over-the-top character in fine over-the-top fashion, the lack of defintion of the character becomes some one note that each tick-tock feels longer than the last. Poor Anne Hathaway looks lost – literally – for most of the picture, so it’s no wonder her character feels like an add-on when she is supposed to be an important cog in the overall story.
If it seems like I’m having a hard time articulating the disappointment of the experience of watching the film, it’s because the film should be so much better than it is. Instead, it comes off so heavy-handed that it’s hard to become engrossed in it when the paint-by-numbers nature of it that feels like it was aimed at nothing BUT a pre-puberty audience. Sure, there are some good moments, but they rarely feel organic and come too few and far between. Sorry, James Bobin, but your lackluster Muppets misadventure has now tagged another would-be franchise with too many lame jokes, outlandish episodes and missed opportunities.
In short, instead of going through the looking glass, poor Alice should have seen that nothing that was as good as it could, should and would have been better if maybe she came back later instead.