I thought that the 2010 Alice in Wonderland from Disney and Tim Burton was fantastic. So, even though Burton was not returning to direct this sequel, I was still excited to see these characters on the big screen again. It may have taken six years to get this out, but in that time most of the magic of that first movie had vanished just like the Cheshire Cat!
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The Movie Review
At the end of the last movie, Alice was globe-trotting trying to expand her business. When she returns to her home, her “old flame” Hamish is trying to take her business from her. Alice ends up following a butterfly and with the help of a magic mirror she ends up back in Wonderland.
I liked this part of the movie. When Alice gets back to Wonderland, she is met by her friends The White Queen, Cheshire Cat, White Rabbit, and so on. However, one person is notable by their absence and that is The Mad Hatter. Turns out that he has freaked out pretty bad, insisting that his family is still alive and that they are missing.
All of his friends are deeply worried about him and it is decided that Alice needs to go and see Time and hope that he can help her get his family back. The promotion for this movie made it seem like Time was the enemy of the movie, but that is not really the case, well I did not think he was the villain.
Alice running amuck through Time, trying to save Mad Hatter is one major story point. The other main part of the plot is to do with the Red and White queens finding out about their past and what drove them apart. The thing is, neither one of the stories really grabs you the same way the first movie did.
There is no clear-cut villain in this movie for me and as a result, it suffers pretty bad. If you ask me, if anything, Alice could be the one who is best described as the villain in this movie as her quest to save Mad Hatter is causing chaos to time! As much as I loved Mad Hatter in the first movie and the fact that time itself is at stake, the movie just never feels that exciting.
It looks like a million bucks and clearly, Disney has spent a ton of money to make this. The CG is even better here than it was in the first movie. The soundtrack again is very fitting and best of all the cast is once again doing a great job in bringing these characters we loved years prior back to the big screen.
The thing is as good as Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter are. These fantastic actors just do not have much to work with here. There are a couple of new actors added to the mix, most notably Sacha Baron Cohen as Time and Rhys Ifans who is Mad Hatter’s dad, even these new characters fail to really light things up and make the movie exciting.
I would not say that Alice Through the Looking Glass is a terrible movie, but it certainly is a very disappointing one. I watched this again recently and I will say it was better than when I saw it in theatres back in 2016. However, as a follow up to that fantastic Alice in Wonderland movie, this one just never had much going for it at all.