NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are. THIS WEEK: After just six years, a sequel to the trippy ALICE IN WONDERLAND with Johnny Depp back as the Mad Hatter who thinks his previously-slain family is alive. Now-sea-captain Alice (Mia Wasikowska—try saying that five times fast while eating crackers), who’s fighting to keep her ship and her home, retreats back to Underland/Wonderland to help her wacky pal via time travel (without wrecking the world) while the bat-crap crazy Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) tries to screw everyone over.
Screenplay by Linda Woolverton based on the book by Lewis Carroll (duh). Directed by James Bobin.
As with the first film, gorgeous costumes, colors and sets, plus subtle, wacky and wonderful special effects. Visually a treat. Good separation of the “real” world and Wonderland.
The performances are all pretty good, but Alice and the Big Red Head Queen stand out the best.
Nice use of suspense, even if you know what’s coming. Plenty of thrills, like an amusement park ride.
We find out how the Red Queen got her giant head and acts like such a b-word. Fun to see a bunch of the “regulars” (the Tweedles, March Hare, Cheshire Kitten and others) much younger.
Clever visuals for the way time is used (and used up). Plus time puns: the usual clichés but visually used in a funny way.
The seconds turn into minutes that turn into…monsters!
I didn’t see it in 3D but if you do, there’s some scenes that would really play it up that you may enjoy.
Sacha Baron Cohen as a Swiss-accented (get it?) Time character was very good. Great design on the character, and he carried it well. When he’s not doing toilet gags or climbing into an elephant’s butt (see GRIMSBY…on second thought, don’t!), the dude can actually act and be funny.
Guest cameo of the Jabberwocky in a cool scene from the past. Andrew (Moriarty from SHERLOCK) Scott has a creepy cameo too.
The time-travel looked fun (even if the ocean metaphor was hokey); and the logic behind it actually made more sense than most DOCTOR WHO episodes and the entire second season of THE FLASH.
Like most fairy tales, it has a happy ending (even if implausible for the time period).
Not too big or many plot twists and you can pretty much guess the end, but it’s a fairy tale, so obviously there isn’t going to be anything too nasty.
Johnny Depp’s character just doesn’t seem as believable as in the first one. He has several quiet moments, and the lisp he uses just comes off as too precious and fake for me.
Many of the traditional characters are for some reason only referred to by their “real” names rather than the character names everyone knows. The White Queen is Mirana, Red is Iracebeth, March Hare is Thackery, White Rabbit is McTwisp, Blue Butterfly is Absolem, and the Doormouse is Mallymkun. Kinda confusing if you don’t remember the books (or never read ‘em, like he-men like me).
Humpty Dumpty’s creepy pieces: eyes blinking, mouth moving, with no visible means of life support. (FROM MIKE: And the Tweedles still look like flesh-colored marshmallows with tiny faces, like phallic Bru-Heds or something.) Hey, I heard that, you dick! I loved the big heads and tiny faces of the Tweedles; they just needed some friggin’ hair and trips to the gym.
Possibly the last film appearance of Alan Rickman’s wonderful voice. (R.I.P.)
The Cheshire Cat still creeps me out; I keep waiting for him to use those giant sharp fangs to bite off Alice’s head. Big-headed Red Queen is still eerie too, especially when her cassaba cranium takes up the entire screen! She’s got some nice cleavage but even I couldn’t go there. (Well, maybe after a case of German brewskis…)
No button during or after the credits (other than the Hare’s voice saying, “Time To Go!.” Just saved you three minutes—you’re welcome.)
It ain’t gonna get nominated for any Oscars (other than for art direction, costume or set design) or be on anyone’s Top 10, but it’s an innocent bit of fun to have with the family or a date, if for no other reason than to get yer annoying carpet brats to shut up for a couple hours. It’s Skittles for the eyes and M&Ms for the brain. Enjoy the treat!
P.S.: What’re you waiting for? Get yourself some trippy, flippy, sexy or silly ORIGINAL ART! One of a kind by a SPECTRUM-award-winning artist, my Creator. Just ask Craig here.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, Wonderland, Underland, Mad Hatters, Crazy Tailors or Insane Haberdashers, or any talking animals of any kind. Bru would fit in perfectly with the Wonderland characters, as long as the tea party was changed to a beerfest!