It’s here. It’s really here. Despite so many having loved ALICE IN WONDERLAND, I find myself in the minority of those who weren’t so crazy about it. No, I didn’t read the book, nor do I remember the Disney original too well, so my opinion isn’t that bias in that regard. No, I just couldn’t get into Johnny Depp’s awkward performance, Alice turning into Aragorn, a bunch of other things too. Youtube’s “Nostalgia Critic” made a review that pretty much summed up how I felt about the movie. Maybe I didn’t hate it as much as he did, but I sure didn’t like it. As you can tell, I wasn’t excited for this inevitable sequel. But I knew everyone would flock to see it since the first was so popular, so now I’m here to spew my opinion. Does the movie improve over the first, or is it time for this franchise to call it quits (haha, see what I did there? “Time” to call it quits? I’m funny! Laugh at me, damn it!)?
This is my honest opinion of: ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) returns from her voyage to China. However, upon arrival at home, she finds out that her mother Helen (Lindsay Duncan) has sold Alice’s ship Wonder to the pompous Hamish (Leo Bill). Furious with her mother’s actions, Alice encounters the moth-like Absolem (voiced by Alan Rickman) who leads her to a mirror that takes her to back Underland. There, she finds that her closest friends are in mourning for the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) who believes that his family survived their fateful encounter against the Red Queen’s (Helena Bonham Carter) Jabberwocky. However, no one believes him, and because of this lack of belief, he’s dying. Even Alice can’t convince him that his family’s dead, so in order to bring closure for her friend, Alice is shown the way to Time’s (Sacha Baron Cohen) domain to steal his Chronosphere, the device that will enable her to travel back in time. However, Time refuses her the chance to try, as he says changing the past cannot be done, but Alice steals it anyway. So begins a race for Alice to save the Hatter’s family while Time is hot on her tail to prevent her from causing too much destruction to Underland’s space-time continuum.
Uh, no. No… no no, no no, no no no no NO!!! UGH!!!
Excuse me, I need to find my calm.
*breathes in, and out*
*breathes in, and out*
First off, a basic complaint that carries over from the first film. Again, the world is called “Underland” instead of “Wonderland.” You know, like every Wonderland story has always called it. *sarcasm* I would have considered it an improvement in the story if the movie retconned the name of this world and simply said, “Why are you calling it ‘Underland?’ Our home is called ‘Wonderland,’ stupid girl.” But nope, we’re still going with the weird-ass “Underland.” It astounds me how much I still hate this.
But on to the actual movie. That opening scene was damn near pointless. It straight-up opens a-la Pirates of the Caribbean. Literally, this scene is trying to tell the audience that Alice is a strong and fearless leader of her people who will make the drastic calls and pull them through hardship. Of course… none of this is ever shown again as the plot centers around her telling her “truest friend” that his family is dead, rather than believing in him and trying to figure out where they are.
Let’s talk about this kick-started plot, shall we? It’s pointless. Fucking, pointless. Why? Because, like I said, Alice tells her “truest friend” (yes, I’ll be doing this a lot in this review) that his family is dead. She is referring to an event that she was not present for and speaks about it like she was. Check out the fucking tits on you, bitch, you’re basically telling your “truest friend” that he’s insane. Yeah, fuck you too! If my best friend told me that his family was alive, even if I didn’t believe it, I would believe that he believes it and tell him, “Alright, where do we start? Any ideas what could have happened? Let’s go to where it happened and try to look for clues.” You help your best friend. Best case scenario, he’s right and so begins a journey of searching for the family. Worst case scenario, they’re really dead and your best friend gets closure. If Alice had done this for the Hatter, the movie would basically be over by the twenty minute mark. They find evidence that the Red Queen took them, sweet, storm the castle and find them. Movie over. Or maybe no evidence to be found? That sucks, but at least the Hatter has closure and can move on with his life. But no, Alice is a bitch and tells him his family’s dead without listening to him or even trying to help him.
But you know what, let’s pretend that we wanted to continue with this time-traveling bullshit. It actually could have worked. Go through everything that Alice should have done for the Hatter, Anne Hathaway’s “Good Queen” character (oh trust me, I’ll rage about this twat later) could have still directed Alice to Time’s palace and convince him to let Alice travel back in time to figure out what happened. However, some more problems. Time says that the past can’t be changed. Fine. Alice, shouldn’t need to change time, she only needs to know what happened in a specific point in time. Seriously, Time doesn’t have some doohickey that simply shows them what happened on that day? No need to change anything, it’s just a matter of information. Find out what happened, go back to the present day, storm the Red Queen’s castle, the movie should be over by the thirty minute mark. But nope, Alice needs to straight-up steal the ever-important chronosphere and change the past. This is our hero, everybody. A thief who gives zero shits about fucking with the space-time continuum.
Onward to the next pointless plotline!
So, Time manages to shoot Alice down, knocking her away from the timeline she intended to go to and lands further back before the Hatter’s family’s death. The chronosphere, which is revealed to be able to shrink to a portable size when not in use, shrinks upon entering this new timeline. Wanna know how it becomes big again and ready for usage? You toss it somewhere. Yup, that’s it. However, Alice doesn’t try this. Nope, she just looks around the unintended timeline she’s in and explores it. Why does she do this? She has to know what happened to her “truest friend” and his family! Quite literally, she could have thrown the chronosphere, got back in, and simply try to get to the correct timeline again. She should have spent a grand total of twenty seconds in this timeline, but instead, we get fifteen to twenty minutes of pointlessly learning about how the Red Queen and Good Queen became estranged! Who the fuck cares?? You’re not here for this shit! Hell, you’re not supposed to be here at all! Sequence over, she throws the sphere and goes back into the time-stream.
Will the next pointless plotline please step forward!
Alice is back in the time-stream, but for some fuck reason, she doesn’t try again for the timeline she’s supposed to go to. Instead, she goes even further back in time to the Hatter’s childhood. Oh my god, why Alice? Why? The Hatter, your “truest friend” is dying back in Underland! Just get the information you need, tell the Hatter what happened to his family and end this pointless shit! Yeah, we learn the tension between the Red Queen and the Good Queen started at this timeline as well, but again, that’s not why Alice is here! She’s wasting more time by learning the absolute true reason why there was so much hatred between the Red Queen and Good Queen when they were children (Good Queen ate a tart that their mother said not to, and lied to their mother saying that Red Queen did it and has lied about it everyday, even well into their adulthood)! No one cares!
Oh, I’m sorry, now the story decides to get back on track? Well fuck me in the ass and call me Jenna Jameson, a miracle has occurred!
Alice finally manages to get to the fateful day of the Hatter’s family’s death. Lo and behold, they’re not dead! They were shrunk and the Red Queen has them captive in an ant farm. She goes back to the present and we get that fake-out, “oh no, the Hatter’s dead, oh wait, no he’s not” bullshit and they go and get his family back. But, oh no’s, the Red Queen catches them and steals the sphere from Alice.
Oh dear god, we’re about to fly off the tracks again! It’s going to get bloody!
After the Red Queen steals the chronosphere, she drags the Good Queen back to the timeline when her sister framed her for the tart-eating incident. Seriously, she’s still holding a grudge about this? But this isn’t the worst part. Are you ready for this? Sit back and hold on to something because I promise you, you’re not ready for this. No one can be ready for this, it’s so spectacularly fucked up. So Time stated that if you travel back in time to see yourself, time itself will be destroyed along with the rest of Underland. Standing at the doorway, of the room where this all takes place, Red Queen gives Good Queen one last chance to tell the truth that she ate the tart and lied saying that Red Queen did it. What does Good Queen do? SHE FUCKING LIES AGAIN!!! This prompts Red Queen to swing the door open, sees herself, and time begins to collapse, and now it’s a race back to Time’s palace to put the chronosphere back in its rightful place to reverse the damage.
First of all, why did Good Queen lie? What’s the point? It’s a fucking tart! Your sister just wants you to do the right thing and tell the truth! You didn’t shoot your sister in the spine and paralyze her, or murder her children. You ate a fucking tart and lied about it. Problems solved if you’d have just told the truth. And if you really want to get into how fucked up this scene is, it’s basically stating that the events that occurred in the first movie are because of this fucking tart incident. Yeah, never mind that the Red Queen is making such a big deal about it, but the Good Queen is far worse. She took the crown that rightfully belonged to her sister, allowed a war to rage on killing who knows how many people, and allow the space-time continuum to be destroyed, as well as Underland with it… all because this prissy little cunt couldn’t tell the truth ABOUT EATING A FUCKING TART!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS THE MATTER WITH YOU, YOU STUPID WHORE!!!
Fuck my life… so they’re racing through the palace and Alice is about to put the chronosphere back, but the time’s destruction catches up with her and freezes her in place just mere inches away from where the chronosphere is supposed to go. The movie tries to trick us into thinking that we’re stupid enough to believe that this is how the movie will end, but because bad screenwriting is a sick fetish in this movie, the chronosphere makes its own way back to its perch, undoes the destruction, and everything goes back to normal. Oh, and now the Good Queen tells the truth… WHAT A BIG FUCKING HELP THAT IS NOW!!!
So of course, Alice goes back to the real world and who the fuck cares about what happens, the credits are about to roll and I wanted to go home.
Here’s the absolute hilarious thing that occurred to me. There is one thing that this movie could have done, and I would have totally taken back every bad thing I said and would have labeled this movie as a gift from God. Wanna know what it would have had to do? There is one brief scene in the middle where Alice wakes up back in the real world in an insane asylum that she escapes from (some of you know exactly where I’m going with this). Then, had the movie committed to the idea that Wonderland is a figment of Alice’s imagination, ended this movie like it did with time collapsing and destroying Underland, this movie could have totally set up AMERICAN MCGEE’S ALICE the video game.
For those of you who don’t know, AMERICAN MCGEE’S ALICE was a computer game back in 2000 that was technically a sequel to Lewis Carroll’s novels. It’s also dark, grizzly, violent, basically stating that Alice went Rated-R insane and goes around a sick and twisted version of Wonderland killing its denizens with a butcher knife. I personally never played the game, but I’m aware of the basic premise as well as its popularity for its creative visuals and psychologically fucked up story. Apparently, a film has been in talks ever since 2000, and Wes Craven signed on to direct it. But one misfire after another, and this film’s been in production hell for as long as the name’s been around. A Youtube movie was supposed to be in the works thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, but I don’t think that saw the light of day much.
In any case, I won’t lie, if that’s what this movie was set out to do, I would have totally loved this movie for it. But wishful thinking doesn’t save the actual product that I ended up getting.
I downright hated this movie. I wasn’t a fan of the first one, way too many silly choices to enjoy, but at least it wasn’t…. this. I don’t know what this movie is other than a desperate cash-in to prove that Depp is still a box office gold mine. Clearly, he’s not. While I may say that Wasikowska was given better direction in this film than the previous, nothing good saves this movie from being absolutely terrible. The characters are unlikable and stupid, Depp’s performance is still awkward and uncomfortable, and everything else is just utterly pointless. I honestly can’t recommend this movie to even the die-hard fans. Here’s hoping that this franchise dies from its box office bomb and we can move on… maybe give that intense and dark variation a chance.
My honest rating for ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: 1/5