Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter

Directed by: Tim Burton

A 19 year old Alice returns to Wonderland, the magical land where she had her childhood adventure. She reunites with old friends as she must fulfil her destiny of slaying the jabberwocky and put an end to the red queens reign of terror.

When I was younger I used to love watching Disney’s Alice in Wonderland animated movie. I enjoyed the characters and the story but as I have grown older I don’t have the same love for it as I once did although I can’t recall when the last time I saw it was. The live action Alice in Wonderland movie has always intrigued me as I always wondered how they transformed the story and with Mia Wasikowska playing Alice I was expecting something very good. Over the last few years I’ve seen her in a handful of movies and she’s always been impressive and for me her best movie/performance that I’ve seen has been Lawless. My wife really wants to watch Alice: Through the Looking Glass but because I haven’t seen this movie, we had to watch it before watching the sequel.

Alice in Wonderland started off quite slow but when Alice fell down the hole while following the white rabbit the story began to truly start. As the movie progressed I was staggered by the sheer amount of stars that this movie boasted. I mean it starred Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Barbara Windsor, Anne Hathaway, Matt Lucas, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen and so many more. My favourite character in the movie was the Cheshire Cat, while he didn’t have the biggest of roles he was funny and full of mystery and I liked the way he could just vanish whenever he needed to. Mia Wasikowska as Alice was very good and Johnny Depp who played the Mad Hatter was equally as good but the standout performer was Helena Bonham Carter who played the evil red queen. She was so quirky and had so many wonderfully funny moments that she entertained each time she was on screen.

For a movie that had such an incredibly large budget the CGI and visual effects weren’t always as they should’ve been. At times they were fantastically done but there were some scenes that looked very sketchy and out of place compared to the rest of the movie. I also didn’t like the performance by Crispin Glover who played the red queens chief advisor Stayne, knave of hearts. I thought his acting was fairly poor and while everybody else seemed to be able to embrace their eccentric roles, Crispin just seemed awkward and out of place which was a huge shame. Also, Alice in Wonderland was a lot darker than I had anticipated which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it was just something that I wasn’t expecting.

Overall, Alice in Wonderland was pretty enjoyable as it boasts an incredible cast of talented actors which mostly do a good job. The music was wonderful as it felt truly magical but the CGI wasn’t what it should’ve been.

6/10

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