‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ is a fun ride with a massive scope, but is short on story
Disney brings Alice and company back for a sequel to the live-action Alice in Wonderland with Alice Through the Looking Glass. Mia Wasikowska is back the titular character with Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter with Sacha Baron Cohen playing the only other “relevant” character, Time.
In the aftermath Wonderland, Alice has become a successful sea captain, but returns home to find her mother in financial ruins and no win situation for a future. The Blue Caterpillar Absolem appears and directs Alice back to Underland only to discover the ill Hatter.
Alice’s adventure reveals a back story for the Hatter, the White Queen and the evil Queen of Hearts, played by Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter respectively. Rhys Ifans joins the cast as Hatter’s father.
The rest of the cast from the first film is back, but offers only a few laughs as director James Bobin’s adventure is centered entirely around Alice, various visits into the past and the effects on Time. Carter’s Queen is as outrageous as ever and the message is overly simple…seek to do the impossible with a dash of forgiveness.
Looking Glass is Disney’s contrived attempt to cash in on the success of the first film, but fails to escape the all of the trappings of a Hollywood money scheme. There are great visuals and the film is less “creepy” than the first film. In fact, the film is extremely family friendly and suitable for any child able to endure the chaos and “peril” the characters have to overcome.
Disney went for the massive scale but offers so little story that adults may pass on the repeat viewing. The plot holes are massive and hard to ignore during the fun. Depp’s make-up is distracting and makes even less sense given the details revealed about his family.
Alice’s motives are questionable at best. Doing the impossible is honorable, but not at the cost of death and destruction. She’s much more foolhardy than brave. She’s selfish and arrogant rather than altruistic. Leaving the cast of characters and Lewis Carroll content out of the script was a huge mistake.
Alice Through the Looking Glass receives 2 1/2 stars out of 5 stars