Alice in Wonderland (2010) – Review

In the act of escaping a potential marriage, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) follows a familiar white rabbit through her garden’s labyrinth and once again, upon mistake, tumbles down the rabbit hole, returning her to the magical world of Wonderland in Tim Burton’s latest film.

Finding herself in the place of her childhood nightmares, Alice encounters a variety of characters filling the world from rivaled queens to talking animals.

After acquainting herself with the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and hearing his tale, Alice is soon to realize she has returned to Wonderland for a reason—to conquer the reigning evil and set the crown atop the head of the proper queen.





This is quite possibly one of the most disappointing films I have seen in a years. Alice in Wonderland should have been something up Tim Burton’s alley, and instead he turned it into something it wasn’t. It is my belief that Burton should have been in total control of each aspect of the writing rather than Linda Woolverton, as well as created darker, more dimensional, stylized characters; instead, what we get is a kid-friendly Burton film.







I would have much preferred his take on Lewis Carroll’s novel rather than a retelling of every Hollywood fantasy film. I thought the younger Alice in the very beginning of the film looked the part of the original illustrations and would have been perfect for the role throughout the course of an adaptation. Depp’s accent and incoherent speech in his portrayal of the Mad Hatter is painfully dreadful. Burton as well, marred the Hatter, with an ugly costume design unless that too was left in the incapable hands of someone else. Furthermore, I was disappointed to not hear Hatter shout “Change places!” I understand he is saddened by recent events, but even a hushed, melancholy sigh would have been nice to hear and keep his character intact by way of simple effort.







The charm behind Carroll’s novel is that there really isn’t much of a story, but rather a series of random and always bizarre events that are colorful and imaginative. You start to gain the sense that Alice really is in a peculiar land and at times you even often pity her. With her return to Wonderland the life behind everything the novel created nigh evaporated. That said, the Cheshire Cat steals the show and truly did save the the film in some regard. Nevertheless, even with its beautiful CGI I would have much preferred a stop-motion attempt (The Nightmare Before Christmas) from Tim Burton rather than the use of actors and actresses to portray Carroll’s characters.

What we’re left with because of this is unnecessary, though beautiful, CGI and a lot of it.







In a sentence: If Tim Burton would have made this film eight to ten years ago, it would have been a masterpiece, instead it’s another trite film based on a delightful and well-read novel.



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