Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland review

Most films directed by Tim Burton are worth seeing if only, but at least, for their art direction and Alice in Wonderland isn’t a Planet of the Apes-like exception. Alice is a visual feast with both characters and environments being extremely detailed, incredibly original, darkly atmospheric and, well, literally quite wonderful.

A weak story, or rather lack of one, loosely strings together a series of events which although reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s originals, doesn’t translate well. Being a sequel, of sorts, rather than a direct retelling, might be a major contributor to the problem and you have to wonder if being more faithful to the much loved, familiar source material would have been a braver but better choice.

Storytelling shortcomings are a shame because the characters are strong and the some superb acting performances bring the fantastical crowd and creatures to life. Mia Wasikowska is given a tough task as a teenage Alice and starts off shakily but her charm gradually grows. Swinging between slightly nuts and utterly bonkers, Johnny Depp’s psychotic Mad Hatter is great, as is Helena Bonham Carter’s balloon-headed Red Queen, Matt Lucas’s Tweedledee and Tweedledum and Stephen Fry’s Cheshire Cat.

3 out of 5

14th Mar 2010 | Official site | On IMDb