by Jesus Ibarra
I went to see the latest film version of Alice in Wonderland for four reasons:
- Johnny Depp is crazy as the Mad Hatter
- It is a Tim Burton film
- Anne Hathaway is the White Queen
- Helena Bonham Carter is the Red Queen
The plot itself is very basic, with Tim Burton’s adaptation drawing elements from both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Alice is now 19 years old and accidentally returns to Wonderland; destined to slay the Jabberwocky, stop the Red Queen’s reign of terror and return the crown to the White Queen. There are parts that I loved, and the visuals where amazing as I saw it in IMAX 3D yet, overall, the film was just alright for me, typical Tim Burton. It flows really well with no scenes that just take up space as everything is supposed to take Alice on a journey of self-discovery. I have to give credit to Mia Wasikowska for accurately portraying Alice as a girl trying to find herself in a place she doesn’t fit in, and not allowing her scenes with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway to become about them and not her. Johnny Depp is extremely good as the truly eccentric, insane Mad Hatter but I didn’t expect anything less. Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter are also extremely convincing as battling, egocentric, crazy sisters.
The visual style, especially in 3D, is like having a hallucination. Two gems in the film are Alan Rickman as a sage, hookah-smoking caterpillar and Stephen Fry as the cool, sly Cheshire Cat. My only disappointment was that I didn’t stay engaged throughout the entire film, getting caught up in the story just for moments at a time. That said, it’s not bad and is typical of Tim Burton, making it definitely worth the watch — but in 3D because that’s the only way to truly appreciate the visuals Tim Burton has created. However, a warning; I got a slight headache from watching it in 3D so be prepared for that possibility as not all people respond to 3D well. And don’t worry if you can’t afford to watch it in IMAX 3D as regular 3D will do just as well.
This film is being released on DVD June 1st.