Growing up Julie has always enjoyed the whimsical world of Alice and the Wonderland creatures. So when we were invited to an advanced screening of the latest live action flick we were curious to check it out. We had somewhat mixed reviews of the first film and wanted to see what the sequel had in store for us.
Official film synopsis:
In Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland to save her friend the Mad Hatter. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” reunites the all-star cast from the worldwide blockbuster phenomenon, including: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Matt Lucas and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. We are also introduced to several new characters: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.
Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past three years sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland. Reuniting with her friends the White Rabbit, Absolem, the White Queen and the Cheshire Cat, Alice must save the Hatter and Underland itself, before time runs out.
The first movie in this series wasn't exactly my cup of tea, and when I read a few negative reviews leading up to the screening I wasn't expecting much. But I was pleasantly surprised to find "Alice through the Looking Glass" a very entertaining movie that had a good flow and kept the audience engaged the entire time. I was concerned the movie was beginning to drag but it pulled itself out of that near rut towards the end with an exciting conclusion.
The acting in this movie was superb as would be expected from this cast. Johnny Depp (the Mad Hatter), Helena Bonham Carter (Queen of Hearts), and Sacha Baron Cohen (Time) all were spot on. Sure they may come across as over the top to some, but that is the way it is supposed to be and adds a little more enjoyment to the film.
The film makers did a great job of providing a little back story for various characters without slowing down the film or deviating from the plot. I really enjoyed some of these back stories, especially for the Queen of Hearts and the Hatter.
Technically, the movie was well done. The special effects were outstanding and I really enjoyed the 3D IMAX version, especially considering I am not a fan of 3D to begin with. I would recommend this movie, even to those that didn’t care for the first one.
The original movie followed the Lewis Carroll’s story pretty much to a “tea”. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” took a different spin which I quite enjoyed. It kept me guessing of what would happen next. I enjoyed the start of the movie with Alice on the seas as a strong female ship captain. Once back in London she is faced with a future of giving up doing the impossible and leading a boring life. It was perfect timing to come across a looking glass to transport her back to the world of Underland. It has been a few years but she sees some familiar friends. She comes to find that the Mad Hatter is not himself and no one can figure out how to help him as he slips away into a depressed state of illness.
At this point The White Queen suggests the only hope is to travel back in time, which requires Alice venturing to meet Time himself. She asks for his help of traveling back to fix past events in order to save Hatter. When Time objects Alice feels driven to do so anyway and is off in a stolen machine to travel the seas of time. The movie really does bounce around between interesting places and times. And throughout the journey ties in past back stories of characters with the adventure of today.
I found that the story was interesting with more depth to the characters, the scenes and effects awesome (especially in IMAX 3D) and overall I really thought this film was "wonderful". Some people have said that the film makes no sense and is a mess but I think that is silly because the whole point of Wonderland stories are to not make sense, but be impossible and delight with fantasy. This movie delivered and I enjoyed it even more so than the original.
This movie is best for: enjoying a new spin on a childhood favorite
Official movie site: http://movies.disney.com/alice-through-the-looking-glass