Alice, a wonder to behold, but cold
To be sure, there are moments when Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland truly soars. After the title heroine falls down the rabbit hole and becomes engrossed in a trippy world replete with odd creatures and vivid locales, the film achieves everything we hope it would. This material seems a perfect fit for Burton’s unique sensibility. Yet it suffers in much the same way the director’s worst movies do, as again he becomes far too enamored with his visuals and forgets to properly develop his story or characters.
The supporting cast, including Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and the voices of and Alan RickmanStephen Fry as Absolem, the Blue Caterpillar and the Chesire Cat respectively, do their level best to inject some life into the proceedings. But like Alice, I couldn’t help but feel I’ve been here before. With elements of The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, and many other girl-power stories, this Alice comes off as a gussied-up retread rather than a bold new vision. While there might be plenty to wonder at visually, there’s very little here to become emotionally engaged in.
Contact Chuck Koplinski at firstname.lastname@example.org.