Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen
Directed By: James Bobin
Written By: Linda Woolverton, from characters created by Lewis Carroll
Walt Disney, 2016
PG; 113 minutes
2.5 stars (out of 5)
We only recently watched Burton's Alice in Wonderland on DVD. My daughter loved it; I did not. But when she lobbied to see the sequel, I didn't say no.
I'll say first off I've never been a Burton person. It's just not my thing. Add to that the recent Johnny Depp news (true or not, it sits in one's mind), which did definitely color my feelings about these movies, and . . . I mean, the first one just didn't make a lot of sense to me, which isn't unusual given Burton, but then also he probably felt that since it was Alice in Wonderland he didn't have to make sense anyway.
To be clear, Burton did not direct Through the Looking Glass, which may be why I enjoyed it more than Wonderland. Faint praise, I realize. Though I felt the reason for Alice's quest was weak (she's worried about the Mad Hatter and feels she must go back in time and find/rescue his family), I did like Sacha Baron Cohen as Time, and that's pretty amazing since I've never liked him in anything. And I do like the character of Alice as well. Yet in both movies I'd just as soon have watched her in the real world than bothered with all the Wonderland (or Underland) nonsense. I can't seem to find any affection for the Wonderland characters in these films, although this one did at least try to give more context for them. Points for effort.
Sum total is that Looking Glass is better than Wonderland. Neither is fantastic, but I found this one watchable in a way the first one, for me, almost is not.