We at Barking Mad About love Tim Burton films, for us he hasn’t made a bad film, but his remakes and reboots whilst hugely enjoyable to watch are not a match for his original tales such as Beetlejuice; Edward Scissorhands; Sleepy Hollow and our personal favourite of his, Ed Wood.
His reboots/remakes seem to get him the most criticism starting from his remake of Planet of the Apes, but his later efforts, a reboot of TV show Dark Shadows and Disney’s Alice in Wonderland had some saying he had lost his touch.
Yet for all the attacking of Alice, the film is one of a few to have took over a Billion at the Box Office so it was no surprise that like the book by Lewis Carroll, its sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass was announced.
Tim would return as producer, having commitments elsewhere, but we were pleased that James Bobin, who directed The Muppets reboot and its sequel Muppets Most Wanted would direct.
In addition, Linda Woolverton returned to write the screenplay, as she did for the first film as well as being involved in other Disney classics, Maleficent; The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.
So far so good, however, whilst not being over familiar with the book, we knew that there was no character called Time in it, so we knew this would be a new story.
The film has a great opening involving ships at war, one being captained by Alice (Mia Wasikowska) and from there we see Alice is now at a crossroads in her life, after being cruelly robbed of her ship, thanks to Hamish (Leo Bill) who she had rejected to being her husband in the original.
As Alice faces a life of boredom, no longer being a captain of the high seas, we see the return of Absolem (the late, great Alan Rickman) who helps her return to Wonderland via the Looking Glass.
Once back in Wonderland, we see the return of The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) Bayard (Timothy Spall) Thackery (Paul Whitehouse) Mallymkun (Barbara Windsor) Tweedledee and Tweededum (Matt Lucas) The Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) McTwisp, the white rabbit (Michael Sheen) who are all concerned about the welfare of the Hatter (Johnny Depp) who believes his family may not have been killed by the Jabberwocky after all.
Alice finds out that she can go back in time using an item called the Chronosphere, by stealing if from Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen)
Alice goes back to far in time by mistake and sees a major incident in the timeline of Wonderland, the falling out of the sisters that are the White Queen and Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) in which an accident occurs. We also learn that she has reason to hate The Hatter.
Alice finds the Hatter’s family are indeed alive and are held as prisoners of the Red Queen. A plan is devised to get them back which will mean White and Red Queen settling their differences.
The jumping of timelines made the film not flow as well as it could have done, the earlier sequence where we saw the relationship of the characters all young, not just the queen but seeing Bayard as a pup were a highlight. A
A sub-plot of Alice returning to her own land, where we learn she has been put in a mental hospital was a good change and maybe would like to have seen more of that.
However, the film really suffers for having Bonham Carter on screen less, the film really picks up when she is on screen. The depressed Hatter brings the film down and the Time character didn’t really do much, although we did find some laughs from his sidekick, Wilkins (Muppet performer Matt Vogel)
The film, like the first, really shows it is a big green screen affair and that doesn’t help it in any way. The film at 113 minutes feels longer than it is as well. The film is also available to view in 3D.
Overall, we found ourselves entertained but found it completely forgettable, which is a shame. We are sure having a film set around the 2 queens would have been better, with maybe flashbacks rather than the time travel storyline. If you were not a fan of the first film, we really don’t think you’ll like this one either.
Have you been Though the Looking Glass? What did you think? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films