Ok folks here goes. So Alice (Mia Wasikowska) at the end of the Tim Burton’s film Alice in Wonderland went back to the normal world, and is now a pirate. However her pirating days are numbered by that bloke from the first film who she didn’t marry (Leo Bill) when he makes her become a secretary or something or else he’ll sell her mum’s house. So to escape it all she returns to Wonderland, where she finds that the Hatter (Johnny Depp) is very ill because he got reminded of the fact that his family were massacred by the beastie Alice slayed in the first film. So in order to make him well again, Alice decides to steal the main engine from wonderland’s clock so that she may travel back in time and prevent the hatter’s family’s massacre. However this has large repercussions for Wonderland because, duh, she stole the main engine from the clock. All this causes time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen) to chase after Alice through the seas of time in some weird railway transport time travel vehicle – shut up anyone who said why didn’t Alice just steal that instead of causing all of these problems, because honestly pal if you start picking holes now you are going to need a number of months. Oh yeah and the Queen of Hearts is back.
Now what I just described is an abridged form of the first ten minutes. And that goes a fair way to explaining why this film is such a total mess.
I’m no big supporter of the first Alice in Wonderland (from this franchise, so the 2010 one) but I thought it was ok. But at no point did I think to myself “I’d really like to revisit that world”. I don’t, I didn’t and I shouldn’t have because it hurt my mind trying to keep up with this plot that seems like it was written as a game of consequences. No single part of the story matches up with any other single part and it ends up all just crashing to the ground around Mia Wasikowska’s potentially stirring female protagonist role. To a certain extent there is some interest in watching a film so completely full of plot holes that any character at any point in the story could end the film and put you out of your misery, but the screenwriters are going to hold you In that cinema for nearly two goddamn hours godamnit, even if it makes bugger all sense. But hey it’s much muchier – shut up. It’s a total train wreck.
On paper I like Alice’s character. She’s got spirit and isn’t going to let any man dictate her life. I just wish she had a half decent movie to portray that. Sacha Baron Cohen’s quite funny as well.
My main problem with this film is that, fine make your own rules that don’t make sense in any way, fine. But for heaven’s sake stick to them. You cannot make a film in which you carry on changing your already arbitrary world rules just to suit the narrative direction you fancy going down at this point. And for the love of god please somebody save Johnny Depp from his own career. That poor man is stuck in a cycle of ever more lacklustre Jack Sparrows. You thought he was dead inside for Into the Woods, and he was. But he is more so now. At one stage the hatter is there lying on his death bed and it’s as if someone just filmed Johnny Depp looking down his post 2010 imdb page.
But at least it’s colourful right? You know what no. There are too many colours. There is too much of everything.