The inevitable sequel to Alice in Wonderland finally comes out in theaters. Like the Transformers, it challenges viewers on how much CGI they can take before the novelty of the technology wears off.
In fairness, the high production value does provide well-rendered visuals. The costumes are elaborate and distinct. The movie continues to be inspired by the illustrations that accompanied early editions of Lewis Carroll’s 1865 classic novel, thanks to Colleen Atwood and the production design team.
The regular cast still has the same costumes reflecting their personality with a little twist. Alice now wears an oriental dress that is inappropriately loud among her peers. While The White Queen is still in frothy Victorian white, The Red Queen is now wearing a battle-ready Elizabethan dress. The new addition is Time, a human clock demigod.
The cast brings their characters back to life without phoning it in. Anne Hathaway’s forced affectations and Sasha Baron Cohen’s indistinguishable accent aside, acting is still decent all around.
Unfortunately though, even without Burton in the helm, this franchise continues to disappoint.
Alice hops from one meaningless set piece to another, turning into a tour guide for the audience to show how much CGI the producers were able to afford. While Underland and Wonderland are detailed thanks to a Hollywood budget, the world-building isn’t unique. The former is just a giant clock while the latter are whimsified small villages with improbably-named inhabitants.
Worse, our heroine is thrown into a senseless plot as the movie tries to make money from whatever nostalgic affections you still have with the main cast. Alice travels through time to save the Mad Hatter from sadness.
After stumbling through backstories and talking to talking animals, Alice reaches the end of her journey. If you haven’t figured it out by the trailer, the movie is about learning from the past.
Alice Through the Looking Glass repackages the appeal of the first – loony CGI characters, anthropomorphic game pieces, and perfect casting.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice Through the Looking Glass repackages the appeal of the original with an underwhelming story plastered with expensive CGI.