In this Alice Through the Looking Glass review, you’ll find that as beautifual as they look, there’s something missing.
Warning: There are some mild spoilers regarding Alice Through the Looking Glass, such as the basic premise of the film and themes. If you remember watching Alice in Wonderland about six years ago and found that you enjoyed the movie, then you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. The visual effects that define Burton’s style for Alice in Wonderland definitely are held to the same standard in Alice Through the Looking Glass, often giving parts of the fantasy world that ethereal quality. But there’s more than just pretty scenes that will be mentioned in this Alice Through the Looking Glass review.
The characters, most still familiar from the first movie, are still just as fun to watch, including the mischievous Cheshire the cheshire cat (voiced by Stephen Fry), the caterpillar turned butterfly Absolem (voiced by the late Alan Rickman, for whom the movie was dedicated to), the Iracebeth the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), and of course the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), whose backstory plays a part in the film.
The story of the movie doesn’t really fall the same path as the book it’s based upon, so those who were hoping for that may be sorely disappointed. There are bits are pieces taken from the adventures that Alice (Mia Wasikowska) goes through in the book, however, the movie has pretty set up its own main plot and that in which Time, both as the actual measurement and as an physical being (played surprisingly and pleasantly well by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen,) play a significant role in the story as Alice needs him to help her friend the Hatter. But Time, being Time, and having no time to spare to someone, may find that asking for Time’s help is just a waste of time.
In regards to the story, it’s certainly a tale of adventure as Alice does things her own way to help the Hatter, who needs her help to find his family, a family she knows to be deceased. But she decides to go on this adventure anyway because the Hatter has become ill with despair. Through her journey we are brought alongside our brave protagonist to solve one puzzle, or maybe two, to save the Hatter and Wonderland itself. The movie is filled to overflowing with digital effects, which shouldn’t be a surprise after the first film, and it just makes for breathtaking scenes at times.
Despite the visual beauty of the film, the movie’s storyline felt somewhat flat and the pacing was what I would consider fairly casual, with slight highs and slight lows, but nothing extreme about either. Also, there were times when I felt Alice to be somewhat disrespectful and just annoying
That doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything to enjoy about the movie, because there were some cute and delightful moments, especially when Time makes a visit to the Hatter’s tea table. And there were some exciting or revealing moments, like when we see a moment in the young sisters Iracebeth and Mirana’s (Anne Hathaway) lives, or the final chase scene. As much as they were turning points in the story, the whole of the movie just didn’t come together as well as it should have. Even with the addition of Time into the movie, the story was just lacking some… oomph, for lack of a better term.
I don’t think it helped that the only impressive performances were that from Cohen as mentioned earlier, and of Bonham Carter, whose character had a better story arc in this than the first film. As much as I’ve appreciated the acting from the others, there was nothing that stood out from them in reprising their characters.
To be fair, the movie does hit on themes of forgiveness, especially among family, respect, and redemption, and those are always good things for children (and adults) to learn. For that, I appreciate its efforts in displaying such.
And in case you’re wondering if you should watch it in 3D, I didn’t really see the point.
Alice Through the Looking Glass opens officially in theaters tomorrow, the 27th, however, you might be able to catch them in theaters tonight!
Check out my rating below and add in your own rating, too!