In 2010, Tim Burton released the blockbuster smash, Alice In Wonderland, the film had a very mixed reception. A lot of people think that the Narnia-style action-packed plot just doesn’t work in the wacky world of Wonderland. As for me, I enjoy the film fine enough, even though, realistically, I know it’s not that good. For me, the film is a guilty pleasure.
But now we have the sequel that was inevitable even though not that many people were asking for it, and…
Yeah, this was pretty bad.
Now, to be fair, the film does have a handful of interesting ideas and there are a number of cool looking visuals, but it isn’t worth it to sit through a very poorly written script and shoddy directing. It’s clear that director James Bobin is trying to recreate the style of Tim Burton, but he just can’t make it work.
While the original film took some pretty severe ‘liberties’ with the original source material, this film is so far removed from the original Alice books that I wonder why Lewis Carroll’s name is even in the credits. Screenwriter Linda Woolverton seems to have confused ‘madness’ with ‘quirkiness’. Everything that’s suppose to make no sense actually ends up making perfect sense. Meanwhile the things that are supposed to make sense don’t. It’s totally backwards in the worst way possible.
To the point where we see in a flashback that Johnny Depp’s father is always encouraging his son to be ‘normal’ and ‘sane’. Um, I thought the whole point of Wonderland is that it’s a world where madness is encouraged. Plus, they wanted to give the Red Queen a backstory, but really, do you ‘need’ a reason why her character has a big head? Can’t you just show us some crazy stuff and have us just go with it? (Like in Mad Max: Fury Road. Oh my God, how awesome would it be if we could get George Miller to direct the next one?)
Mia Wasikowska and Sacha Baron Cohen are just going through the motions here. Meanwhile Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway are not even trying with these roles, and I honestly can’t say I blame them. The only person who seems to be making an effort is Helena Bonham Carter, and even then, the only reason she stands out is because of how low the bar has been set.
Now some people out there think this movie is an improvement on the original. If your main concern about the first film was that it was too dark, well, this one is much lighter in tone. I can’t fault you if you like this movie, but I just can’t bring myself to recommend it.