Movie Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp and Sacha Baron Cohen

Directed by: James Bobin

After years at sea sailing around the world Alice returns to Wonderland only to discover that Hatter is in a bad way. In order to save him from his depression she must travel back in time and rescue his family from perishing at the hands of the Jabberwocky.

After watching Alice in Wonderland (2010) last month it was an inevitability that I was going to watch it’s sequel at some point in the near future. The first movie was good but could’ve been better but I was hoping that a brand new story in film format would pump some life into Alice and the magic of Wonderland. I was glad to see that all the cast returned for the sequel and this was unfortunately Alan Rickman’s final movie role before his passing as he reprised the role of Absolem.

I found Alice Through the Looking Glass to be refreshing and better than its predecessor and I think it’s because the story was new and unfamiliar whereas I was already aware of the previous movies story because of the 1951 Disney animation movie. Sacha Baron Cohen’s character, Time, was such an integral part of the movie which only amped up my enjoyment of it. I thought he was a combination of witty and charismatic and was the breath of fresh air that the Alice story needed. His chemistry with Alice (Mia Wasikowska) was great to watch and at no point did I tire with their back and forth. The visuals and the animation once again was top notch and the makeup on the Queen of Hearts (Helena Bonham Carter) and Hatter (Johnny Depp) was sensational. I feel Alice Through the Looking Glass offers a great escape from reality and is a great way to spend the best part of 2 hours watching sweet characters and silly entertainment.

One of my favourite scenes of the movie was when Alice initially climbs through the mirror and and meets Humpty Dumpy, that small scene was very well done and cleverly written in my opinion. The one thing that bothered me considerably was how different Hatter looked and sounded compared to the first movie. Although the makeup was great, his initial appearance when he sad and depressed was really off putting and it might have just been that I couldn’t remember how he sounded in the first movie but his voice was completely different as if Johnny Depp had forgotten how to do it and couldn’t recreate the voice six years on. Also, some of the green screen moments looks kinda poor as at one stage Mia Wasikowska was clearly just running on the spot and it took away from a few scenes.

Overall, a slightly more enjoyable experience to Alice in Wonderland as it was just a fun way to pass an evening at home. Sacha Baron Cohen was great and was the difference maker between the two films as his character was exceptional.

7/10

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