Alice in Wonderland is the newest movie by Tim Burton, based on the book by Lewis Carroll, starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Helena Bonham-Carter, Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall.
Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is at a party with her family – actually, it’s her engagement party, only she doesn’t know – when a white rabbit (Michael Sheen) appears to her. Since the rabbit is wearing a waistcoat and a pocket watch, Alice is intrigued. She follows it to Wonderland where she discovers that an old prophecy is waiting just for her.
Even with the Tim Burton bonus and the wonderful cast, I cannot say that this was actually a good movie. I mean, it looked great but that script and that plot and the character CGI…
The world really did look great- very Burtonesque in its design, which is rarely a bad thing and wonderfully rendered. I’m not sure the 3D was actually necessary, but it didn’t really take anything away either, so it’s fine by me.
The cast: awesome. If you’ve seen In Treatment, you know that Wasikowska can pull off distressed and confused and a little disturbing. But Alice proved that she can also do slightly aloof and a little weird. That’s always a good thing. Johnny Depp again created a character out of the Hatter that was more than the sum of its parts. Helena Bonham-Carter, Alan Rickman and Crispin Glover were awesome, as usual. But it was Stephen Fry who triumphed over them all. [I should probably mention that I reallyreallyreally love the Cheshire Cat so that might have tainted my judgement.]
But now come the “buts”. Why in the hell Burton found it was necessary to CGI all the actors I will never understand. I understand Tweedledum and Tweedledee. I don’t mind the Red Queen. But Stayne’s body, which subsequently moved like he was drunk and balance challenged? But even worse, for me, was that they augmented Johnny Depp’s eyes. Why? Why go for a Disney Child Face when you can just have Johnny Depp’s face?
Anyway, might be perceived as nitpicking but it really bothered me.
And the other thing was the screenplay. I mean, come on, was there anything we hadn’t seen before exactly like that? And that ending in the real world? My suspension of disbelief only goes so far…
Summarising: The movie would have deserved a much better script. Unfortunately now it’s just meh. Beautiful meh, but meh nonetheless.