Archive for alice in wonderland

Alice In Wonderland Review

Posted in Film Reviews And Conversations with tags , on March 17, 2010 by Adam Broome

The latest product in a seemingly endless partnership sees Tim Burton and Johnny Depp teaming up once again for a gothic re-telling of Alice In Wonderland. This version of the classic tale sees Alice at the age of 19, introduced to us during her engagement party, before tumbling down the rabbit hole. And we all know where it goes from there. I saw this film in 2D, and after watching Avatar in 3D, I can honestly say I couldn’t really see much difference. The CGI world Burton creates on screen is every bit as spectacular as anything from his previous films.

Matt Lucas appears as a pair of silly twins, who only serve to annoy rather than entertain, as does Alan Rickman’s blue, sheesha-smoking caterpillar. This goes for most of the characters in Wonderland also, although the smiling cat looks as cuddly as Bagpuss.
Now, about Johnny Depp. For those who live in a cave, he plays the Mad Hatter. A lot of people have said he is just too manic and crazy in this film to be good. To some extent, ‘they’ would be right. However, to convey such a lunatic on screen is a hard sell, so I do salute the attempt. There is a lot of craziness and stupidity in this film – think Beetlejuice. You’re either on board, or you aint.
The silly characters (and whilst I’m at it, rather silly story involving the Jabberwocky) aren’t the big problem for me however. The first and last scenes act rather out of place, as if to add realism to a none-sensical plot. ‘Wonderland’ itself seemed to lack magic, especially after creations such as Spirited Away or The Nightmare Before Christmas. The distinct lack of sparkle only serves to make you feel trapped with the manic characters therein.
It is important you should also note that this is foremost a children’s film, bearing much more resemblance to Charlie And The Chocolate Factory than Sweeney Todd. I hated Charlie And The Chocolate Factory… so you can probably see where this is going. I felt that this film lacked Tim Burton’s usual gothic-fantasy look. It just looked like a dull version of the Narnia series (plus, the ending is just the latest in the ‘big battle finale’ kids films). To be dark and have menace would have made this less of a kid’s film though – he had their needs squarely at heart, which meant I got quite bored, and reminisced of Burton’s spookier escapades.