Review: ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ is More Enjoyable Than Its Predecessor

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to pronounce their undying love for Tim Burton’s 2010 adaptation of Alice In Wonderland, but the film made over a billion dollars at the global box office, so here we are.

Alice and the Commercially Mandated Sequel asserts itself as a large scale blockbuster in its thrilling opening scene – an epic ocean-bound set-piece that wouldn’t be out of place in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Much of what follows lives up to the impressive visual splendour of this opening gambit, but only occasionally recaptures its tension or stakes.

Plenty of effort has been made to lend the main characters some contemporary motivation, which is nice in theory, but somewhat out of step with the surreal setting. Revealing that the Red Queen’s (Helena Bonham Carter) abnormally-large head is the result of swelling from a childhood accident introduces an element of ‘real world’ consequences that doesn’t sit well with the nonsensical whimsy that drives Wonderland.

Nevertheless, Carter is a joy to behold in all her scenes, as is new addition Sacha Baron Cohen as Time, who makes a meal out of his relentlessly punny dialogue. It’s more fun spending time with these characters than it is with Johnny Depp’s ceaselessly annoying Hatter, who is thankfully somewhat de-emphasised here compared to the first film.

Mia Wasikowska’s Alice also benefits from being something of an action heroine this time around, more responsible for driving her own fate. Her outfits are pretty awesome too.

Indeed, despite the issues mentioned earlier in this review, Alice Through The Looking Glass is perhaps a more enjoyable and cohesive film than its ephemeral predecessor. Which isn’t saying a huge amount, but still…

‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ Movie Times | 3D Times