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With that being said, then don't get me wrong. "Alice: Through the Looking Glass" is not a bad movie, it just seems like a movie that hardly was necessary to have been made. It is a good movie in itself, and works quite well as a stand-alone, if you will.
The effects in "Alice: Through the Looking Glass" were great, as they also were in the previous movie. And it was nice to see the beloved characters from the first movie return, and also to see the amazing job that the special effects team pulled off at bringing the world to life. Lots of details, vivid colors and memorable characters.
The actors and actresses in the movie were doing good jobs with their given roles, and it was a great treat to have the original cast return to play their characters once again. The Time character was interesting, but it left a less than savory taste in my mouth that they had cast Sacha Baron Cohen for this role. He is not an actor that I am too fond of, so in my opinion another cast would have been preferable. I do enjoy the Mad Hatter character and Johnny Depp does a great job in portraying him. And it was nice to get to see more of that quirky character and get to know more of his background.
The special effects and wardrobe teams really are the ones shining in this movie, because there are just so many wonderful things to look at throughout the movie. And the level of creativity is just astounding. No matter where you look there is something breathtaking.
"Alice: Through the Looking Glass" is certainly an entertaining movie, but it is hardly one that you will sit down and watch again any time soon.
With "Alice Through the Looking Glass," though, I feel like I have to put my opinion out there. I'm in the minority with this one in that I loved "Wonderland" and was incredibly excited to see "Looking Glass." Having finally seen the movie, I'm really disappointed. I feel burned.
Tim Burton directed "Alice in Wonderland" but chose not to direct this one - in his place is James Bobin, director of the two most recent "Muppets" films (the first of which I thought was great, the second much less so but still fine). I think it would be unfair to put all of the blame on him, but he's certainly responsible for some of what went wrong here... as is screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who I almost can't believe is the same person who wrote "Alice and Wonderland," "Maleficent," and the original "Beauty and the Beast." While her previous work is whimsical but subtle and sophisticated, "Alice Through the Looking Glass" is an uninspired mess, and I can't help but suspect that she really didn't care about this at all.
You know, it seems like almost no one involved in making this movie cared. Mia Wasikowska is probably the only member of the cast who deserves any praise, and I thought she did an even better job playing Alice here than she did in the first movie. Everyone else though, ESPECIALLY Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway, should be embarrassed. Johnny's Mad Hatter was one of the best things about the first one, but here, he's just really weird and annoying. Like, super annoying...
I don't even think the composer, the usually amazing Danny Elfman, put forth much of an effort here. The score for "Alice in Wonderland" is one of my favorite scores for a movie ever, but it's like for this one, he thought he could just recycle the stuff he wrote for the first one and that no one would notice? Well, I did, Danny. I noticed.
The visual effects and production design are pretty great, as they should be, but you never get that sense of wonder or escapism that you should get with a movie like this because so much of the movie is just people standing around bantering or delivering boring exposition. The movie is loud and sometimes frantic but rarely fun or engaging. It's a major disappointment and a major step back from "Alice in Wonderland" and Disney's other recent live-action fairytale adaptations. It's just not good.
However, the art of storytelling has become lost on them. This is primarily because conglomerates have bought out the studios. A movie is merely a commodity to the shareholders. The question they pose themselves before financing a movie is this: Do we already have a built in audience for this story? If there isn't already a built in audience, good luck getting the film financed.
With that being said, it is clear that storytelling is the last priority of Hollywood. Through the Looking Glass is a prime example of this. No matter how many groundbreaking visual effects they throw on the screen, the plot stinks. There was no suspense. Very little irony. No interesting characters. No memorable scenes. No compelling conflict and dynamics between the characters. The entire premise of the film was based on Alice saving the Mad Hatter from his illness. Yet, I could really care less. The story reflects nothing about the human condition. It raises no intriguing questions. Not to mention that the plot itself is aimless and disjointed. It meanders along, zipping in different directions without a clear focus and purpose. One wonders how a script like this even gets greenlit.
Maybe this is what audiences have come to accept. Maybe it's our culture that is the problem. However, I won't lay down without making my voice heard. When the credits rolled, I personally booed the film. My girlfriend tried to get me to shut up.
Story is a metaphor for life. Compelling characters represent something about each of us. We relate to them on different levels. We witness the actions they take, and say "Ah, I would've done the same." or "Wow. I would've never done that, but I can understand why they did it." The problem with fantasy films like this is that they are so far disconnected from reality that they literally represent nothing.
So I shall pose a challenge to those reading this review who have seen or intend to see this film: watch Alice, then watch a movie like Birdman, The Social Network, Nightcrawler, Fury, or a TV series like Breaking Bad, then compare the two. I guarantee that you'll find yourself much more emotionally fulfilled upon watching one of the films I mentioned. Not all superhero/fantasy films are trash. But Through the Looking Glass was an egregious example of all special effects, but a junk plot.
Alice discovers that things are going very wrong with the Hatter, who is now acting madder than usual, haunted by past events that he refuses to reveal. In order to prevent a heartbreaking end to her friend, she turns to Time himself. Despite his warnings about Alice not being able to win a race against time, and not being able to change the past, she borrows the Chronosphere, a time device that everyone (including the now banished Red Queen) wants, and winds up returning to the past.
As Alice witnesses the hits and misses of friends (and enemies) during their lives, discovering how it prompted them to their current states in the present, she may learn how to solve not only the problem with the Hatter, but her own back in London – but only if she can win the race against the ticking Chronosphere.
The ensemble cast fail miserably. Mia Wasikowska's enthusiasm is so false and patronising its as if shes talking to an infant child the whole way through the film. Sacha Baron Cohen and Johnny Depp both suffer from stupid voice syndrome as they both speak with a lisp and an accent that only they know what they were going for there. Helena Bonham Carter reprises her roll as the big headed (pun intended) Queen of Hearts, sulking her irritating little way through this 2 hour cluster f*ck. Its hard to care about these characters when you are simply struggling to tolerate them in the first place.
The script is garbage. It's littered with unfunny jokes, puns that are so bad they aren't even funny and convenient exposition like "Oh no only the return of the cronosphere can save us now." Long story short its lazy and hard to believe someone was paid to write this piece of sh*t. I do wonder if the dialogue in the script includes the stupid lisps and accents because if so that just makes things worse.
The narrative is heavily flawed from the start of this 2 hour slow motion car wreck. We spend the first 5 minutes hearing Alice go on about nothing being impossible only for her to go against everything she believes in another 5 minutes later. The whole series of events that take place in this film could have been avoided if Alice had just stood up for what she believed in and wasn't so fast to give up on her beliefs. But the illogical narrative points don't stop there, no sir. When the Queen of hearts takes her sister Mirana to a pretty petty moment in their childhood, what is her plan? To bust in the door, point and shout "LIAR" like a bitchy school girl and in doing so almost ending the world and all of time. Also its kinda pathetic that the explanation of why the Queen of Hearts is such an ass hole is because one day her sister ate the last tart and blamed her for it. Seriously? It's not even an excuse, some people are just born ass holes and the Queen of Hearts is one of them.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE, the ending of the film is literally bull*t saves the day as they straight up lost. Everything was consumed by some brown rust like substance and Alice did not return the cronosphere in enough time to restore time back to normality... Roll credits? Nope, have no fear the magical synapse of time will suddenly make a connection to the cronosphere and time is saved hooray for bs. Also if Alice literally let go of the cronosphere before turning to rust then the balance of time would have been restored, so yeah the ending is beyond stupid.
I could go on about the many other aspects of this film that are terrible like the not so great sfx that the film chooses to focus on a lot or how the sfx create an ugly world to look at and yet for some reason the film persists with lingering on it, but I think I've made my point abundantly clear. This is not a good movie plain and simple, about the only thing that's good about this is hearing Alan Rickman's voice and seeing Andrew Scott both of which last for like 2 minutes. Stop trying to make Tim Burton Alice films happen they aren't going to happen, and I hope now that this film has flopped in typical Johnny Depp fashion, most likely due to his wife beating allegations, that this is the last we shall see of Annoying Alice and the ugly Underlandians.
Overall the film was terrible. The story was terrible. The acting was terrible. In fact, to me it seemed as if they dumbed down the characters. The characters, including Alice, were not very likable. The best scene in the movie is the opening scene. In this scene Alice is portrayed as smart, daring, brave, and a strong leader. Then she gets to wonderland and she suddenly makes a lot of decisions without really thinking them through and they aren't good.
The special effects. I don't know that I would call the special effects terrible, but they were definitely over done.
Cinematography, not impressed. The occasional close facial shot is nice, but this film has way too many.
In the end, it was a WASTE OF TIME! Not only a waste of my time, but a waste of the studio's time. It took them six years to make this film. They clearly did not use their time wisely. I recommend the studio executives re-watch this film, assuming they have already seen it. Perhaps it will teach them how valuable time is.
The story is weak, drawn out and boring , at no point was I excited or even interested throughout the movie , I just wanted it to end.
Another poor performance by depp, who seems to just cash in whenever he can in poor movies with the same performances. He's so annoying in this movie , and this stupid way he talks and the way he moves his mouth is just annoying. He is annoying and so is his character.
Depp isn't the only one though, the acting by every character is poor , Bonham Carter with the same annoying voice and movement she does in pretty much every film she's in, Hathaway just looks lost through the whole movie , no expression what so ever , a blow up doll could have played her character.
It's really really bad , don't waste your time watching this stuff .
This movie, this flick, this thing, left me cold and majorly disappointed! I mean really disappointed! Who came up with this plot? To anyone reading this review here's the plot - all the tea party characters are sad because the Mad Hatter has given up on life because 'his family' is missing and presumed dead. (When did the Hatter become Sicilian?) And he has become a recluse. It's up to 'Captain of the frigate' Alice to find them using the Chronosphere she has stolen from mumble mouth Time so she can go back in time to keep Iracebeth's head from swelling because Mirana lied about stealing a cookie and blaming it on Iracebeth and the truth will bring the Mad Hatters family back to him. Now get this - the Hatters family have been living captive in an ant farm!!
The descendants of Lewis Carroll really should take legal action for just putting his name in the credits! This is an awful movie and way too long at almost two hours. The only thing that kept my interest is the lavish photography, costumes, and marvelous graphic effects ....... but those 3 thing do not make a movie.
Both books were written for the Alice Liddle, a young girl at the time and friend of author Lewis Carroll, a childless clergyman and mathematician.
The original Disney animated film combined the books much more accurately and never went so far over the top as to lose the essential spirit of the originals. Even the political satire was still present, though dulled by time and overwhelmed by the magic of animation.
However, this film and it's predecessor concentrate almost exclusively on eye-popping visuals and fantastic everything, losing sight of the political satire altogether. Plus, the absurd shipboard wrapper to the basic story is totally unnecessary and misleading. Apparently, two screenplays were mashed together in an awkward and contrived effort to reinvent the story for today's audiences.
Why? Obviously, to showcase the (admittedly) extraordinary computer graphics and special effects skills Hollywood currently has at its disposal. And give the actors another chance to dress funny, wear weird makeup, and act crazy. The original story is fantastic, agreed, but it is a lot more than that. Both of these new interpretations stop at the fantastic and miss all the rest. Turn the sound off and ignore the naval wrapper, try to forget the original books, and this film can be enjoyed as a visual feast. It might help to get high first. Otherwise, you may wonder if anyone was actually in charge. Maybe everyone was in charge!
You more serious viewers, try watching Disney's animated "Alice In Wonderland" from 1951 and Jim Henson's "Labyrinth."
In the world of traditional art, one basic rule of thumb is "Less Is More." Here, we get, as with so many of today's special effects driven films, "More Is Less."
We find Alice at the beginning of the movie as the Captain of a ship which is threatened to be taken away from her unless she gives up her family home, a deal her Mother struck in a bid to avoid financial ruin. Feeling betrayed, Alice makes a run for it and finds a magic portal through a huge glass mirror. It doesn't take long before we're propelled back into Wonderland through a vortex of swirling colours and flashing images. An epileptic nightmare. Alice instantly finds familiarity in the form of Absolem et al before they inform her that the Mad Hatter is dying and the only thing that will save him is if Alice believes that his family are still alive. She then sets upon a mission to go back in time to warn them of the danger that may cause their death - This is the kind of story that seems to be clutching at the proverbial straw but at that definitive moment within the first 15 minutes of the movie, you know exactly what to expect.
What made Alice in Wonderland so appealing was the premise of such memorable characters. Wasikowska seems to slip back into her role with ease, however, she had some practice playing a similar role in Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak (2015). It's not to say that she is a one trick pony, but it is difficult to distinguish variety in her performances.
The introduction of (a very reserved) Sacha Baron Cohen as Time and a new antagonist has a promising start and receives the majority of the laughs. Unfortunately his character soon becomes second rate to Helena Bonham Carter's bellowing Red Queen and her painful over- acting begins to grate. Even Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter becomes a pathetic re-imagining as he limps through the movie offering very little performance. Namely, his forced lisp which makes his voice sounds like a creepy, old man that forgot to put his teeth in. The real shame is the misuse of the rest of the original cast who are forced to provide mere cameos in comparison to the lead actors. This is the final performance from Alan Rickman before his untimely death and the only regret is that he is barely given enough screen time to make an impact on the movie at all.
James Bobin does very well to mimic the style of the first movie. The audience are dazzled with so much visually, it appears like a desperate attempt to make up for the distinct lack of story. Alice Through the Looking Glass is a lot more structured (believe it or not) than the first instalment but, once again, it suffers from irritating pacing issues and poor performances from their key actors. On a positive note, thanks to the hypnotic special effects this is an entertaining children's movie and, regardless of the crude insinuations, that is most likely what Lewis Carroll intended it to be when he told it to 10 year old Alice Liddell as they rowed down the Thames. Whether that was the intention of Tim Burton is another thing altogether. But for the adults, this one will send you a little MAD.
A minor quirk in this film was that I had to turn on the subtitles to understand some of the characters. The Mad Hatter and King of Time, for example, had really thick accents that made their spoken language hard to comprehend.
But the major drawback to this movie was its naive portrayal of human nature that borders on the offensive.
While it is certainly true that "you can't change the past but can learn from it," which is demonstrated vividly throughout the film, the movie unfortunately propagates the misguided notion that you can somehow ***change other people.*** If one tries to do that in the real world, they almost always will be sorely disappointed.
Unrealistic *physics* in movies (and stories) can be thrilling, and a lot of fun. But unrealistic *human nature* in stories, on the other hand, can give people false impressions about life and relationships -- not to mention that it makes it extremely difficult to relate to the characters in the story. Those characters might as well be robots or space aliens.
In this film, the Red Queen is an abusive jerk -- supposedly all because her sister told a small lie to her when they were kids. The movie then tries to show the viewer that if it weren't for this one single childhood incident, then the Red Queen supposedly would've turned out fine. However, it is clear that she *already was* a jerk prior to that incident. And if it hadn't happened, then obviously, *something else* during her childhood would've "set her off" sooner or later, instead.
So, as an adult, the White Queen thinks she can simply *apologize* to her abusive sister for that one incident, and then, the White Queen can finally *trust* her sister again?
That is pure, wishful thinking that has absolutely no basis in reality. With those kinds of people, it's best to *keep one's distance* -- not to suck up to them like a masochistic doormat.
Anyway, the next interesting relationship in this film is the one between Alice and her mom. Her mom isn't abusive like the Red Queen, but simply has a different outlook on life than Alice's. Instead of hoping that her mom would "change," Alice instead could choose to just share in the things they both have in common, and leave the other matters alone. In other words, Alice could still have a good relationship with her mom, but a ***less close one*** than they might have wished for. Alice could still pursue her dreams while paying an occasional visit to her mom.
Lastly, I'd like to examine the Mad Hatter's comment that "you only get one" family in life.
This is just plain false.
What about all the people who grew up in an abusive family -- who fled when they were teenagers, and later developed a close family relationship with a close friend's family, or with that of a future spouse? One of the main reasons I loved Avatar, and Tim Burton's 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland, is because of the inspirational theme of "flying away and finding one's place" in the world where you can be happy.
This theme was sorely missing from the 2016 version of Alice Through the Looking Glass.
All in all, this was a fun movie, but with a confusing and lackluster message.
The film it's not tasty but instead bland or insipid,that's what I felt watching the film.The whole film was a wasted potential with good visual effects but suffered from a plot that is not worthy of it.Characters are underdeveloped and bland, It has nothing special to give to the audience but give us another unnecessary sequel.It lacks so many things that it film wanted to be like excitement,enjoyment and a fun to it but gives us a dull boring one with wasted potentials and an annoying and uninteresting characters.The film is just soulless and lackluster.
I really really liked it, beautifully made and great story. It is an odd movie but what else would you expect? Just the right amount of action, story and humour for me :)
Rest in peace Alan Rickman, Absolem.