Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Boring and empty movie. It seemed as though Burton desperately wanted to do his own version of the visuals for the world, so he snatched up the first Alice script he could find without bothering to find a compelling story.
Alice returns to Wonderland, though she has forgotten her earlier adventures there (which is never explained), and for some reason must kill a dragon? The dragon sort of works for the Red Queen, who is I guess evil? And only Alice can do it because there's a scroll that says so? What a mess of a script. Characters are undefined, relationships are simply assumed, emotions instructed. The story is never intriguing, the danger never apparent, the tension non-existent. There is never any doubt that she is "The Alice" and that, for some reason, she will eventually kill a Jabberwocky (thus embracing her true potential).
Why is the Red Queen bad? What does Crispin Glover's character want (and who is he)? Why is the White Queen good? What does The Hatter want? Am I supposed to care about his character? What has actually happened since the first adventure? Hook may not be considered a great movie, but as a story that is very similar to Burton's Alice, at least the plot and characters were clear. I understood it perfectly as a child. As an adult seeing Alice, I either didn't understand or I didn't care.
So what was good? Well, it's Burton, so you've got visuals, right? I guess they were ok. It was fun seeing Matt Lucas (of "Little Britain") as Tweedledee/dum. Helena Bonham was a very funny Red Queen.
But without a story the movie falls completely flat. There's really nothing for me to recommend it. Even with a few good performances you'd be better off spending your time elsewhere. The best thing I can say about it is that it made me want to watch the animated Disney version.
(Got to see this one for free in 3D thanks to Shane!)