Mildura Weekly : Friday June 10 Vol 10 No 31
20 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2016 ATTEMPTING to ride the coat-tails of its predecessor ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (2010), Disney’s latest live-action adventure fairytale ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ is a sequel that’s not worth a trip down the rabbit hole. Promising state-of-the-art graphics, the return of the original star-studded cast, and a thrilling action-packed adventure, Alice’s latest adventure on the big screen created high audience expectations, similar to many of the sequels of much-loved originals. But the latest installment of the Lewis Carroll classic is underwhelming to say the least, with the storyline failing its characters, and the world of wonder that was adored by audiences around the world in the first film, noticeably absent. Since its opening on May 10, the film has taken just $US99million worldwide – a long way short of the $170million it took to make the movie. Considering Alice in Wonderland made $116million during its opening weekend, and an astronomical $1.2billion overall, it seems a lot of people aren’t sold on Alice’s second venture to ‘Underland’. Despite suggestions that Johnny Depp’s recent negative publicity hasn’t helped the sequel get to its feet, Linda Woolveton’s flat screenplay has to take the brunt of the re- sponsibility for the film’s failure. The story has the same rhythm as the original, but the narrative doesn’t give the audience much to care about. We re-meet Alice in the real world (1800s England), a couple of years older, wiser, and the captain of her late father’s ship. Feeling displaced and misunderstood by her mother, peers and English society in general, Alice follows a butterfly she recog- nises as Absolem (voiced by the late Alan Rickman) and returns through a mirror to Underland. Alice is quickly reunited with all the usual suspects, the White Queen, the White Rabbit, the Tweedles, Dormouse, Bayard the hound and the Cheshire Cat, and informed of her mission – to console the deteriorating Mad Hatter – who believes the family he lost contact with years ago is still alive. Cue Alice, who goes in search of Hatter’s family, battling obstacles and villains along the way. It was hard to stop comparing this story to the inspiring plot of Lewis Carroll’s inau- gural story about Alice, but everything about this new installment felt messy and unin- spired. Australian actor Mia Wasikowska went through the motions as Alice, playing the lead heroine blander than the first film. Johnny Depp couldn’t save the day as the iconic Mad Hatter, who wasn’t as wacky or eccentric as he once was, providing a one- dimensional performance without enough ‘mad’. As for the big name drawcards, Anne Hathaway was irritating as ever as the White Queen, and even Helena Bonham Carter’s performance as the Red Queen was rather repeated, her daring costume and character not providing that ‘shock factor’ as it had in the first film. Stephen Fry reprised his role as the Cheshire Cat, Michael Sheen as the White Rabbit and the late Alan Rickman as the but- terfly Absolem, all voiced their characters with gusto. Their performances were strong, but the lack of storyline the actors had to work with meant they could never reach their full po- tential. The graphics of the film is definitely its strongest quality – James Bobin’s direction combined with producer Tim Burton’s cre- ative influence admittedly made an aestheti- cally beautiful film. Watching the film in 3D also reinforced how far cinema technology has come and captured a world of ‘impossible’ with dark, Gothic tones that came across well on screen. If only the creators put as much priority on the storyline as they did the aesthetics, the film would have a completely different outcome. Alice Though the Looking Glass failed to leave the audience ‘curiouser and curiouser,’ but was instead a confusing step backwards for Disney, and an embarrassing end to a much-cherished story. FILM REVIEW ALEXANDRA TRELOAR New Alice adventure not worth the trip down the rabbit hole • OFF WITH ITS HEAD: James Bobin’s recent instalment of Alice Through the Looking Glass is not worth the trip down the rabbit hole. It was hard to stop comparing this story to the inspiring plot of Lewis Carroll’s inaugural story about Alice, but everything about this new instalment felt messy and uninspired.
Friday June 3 Vol 10 No 30
Friday June 17 Vol 10 No 32