Film Review: Alice Through The Looking Glass

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Whisked back to Wonderland after stepping through a mirror, Alice must redefine her belief in the impossible when she must travel in time in order to save the Hatter and his family. After infiltrating Time’s castle and stealing what she needs to complete her mission, Alice is determined to set right some of the wrongs.

But the past is a tricky place, and being pursued by Time makes things harder. Iracebeth is on her tail as well and whatever Alice tries, it doesn’t seem to work. But she is given an important lesson: don’t change the past, learn from it.

Film: Alice Through The Looking Glass

Director: Tim Burton

Date: 2016

Rating: 2.5/5

Tim Burton always walks a thin line between genius and madness and I was curious (and curious-er) about how Alice Through The Looking Glass would be done. I re-watched the first film a few weeks ago to ensure continuity, not trusting this would make sense otherwise.

While the film can be watched as a stand-alone, you would miss the developing friendships and understanding of the characters. Unfortunately, in regards to characters, I still can’t bring myself to like Mia Wasikowska’s Alice. Her acting is good, but the characterisation feels weak to me. Alice is stubborn and headstrong, but in a way I can’t connect with.

Once you detach yourself from the main character, it’s hard to like the film. That being said, Johnny Depp’s Hatter was as entertaining as in the first film and it was fun seeing Helen Bonham Carter as Iracebeth again. Time was an interesting addition, even if it did cue all the puns you could find. He was my favourite character despite being the new one as I felt he actually had development in the space of one film. His character felt complete; flaws and redemptions both.

If there is one thing you must credit this film on, it is the special effects. Travelling through time gives licence to play around with all sorts of effects and a high speed chase literally through the waves of time itself is the perfect example. This film must have been granted a large budget considering the effects used. Luckily, due to the type of film it is – mystical, magical and mad – the effects never look over the top as they might do in a more down to earth film.

I’m struggling with this review. The plot follows the novel (although I haven’t read it so I can’t compare), it has a strong cast and the acting was good enough. But not being able to connect to the characters makes it exceedingly difficult to relate to the film, or even to enjoy it. I felt this way with the first film but hoped there would be enough development in the second to overcome the character issues.

Overall, I wouldn’t watch this again. If you enjoyed the first film, however, I see no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy the second.

Amazon | HMV

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