Alice in Wonderland: The Review

I saw the movie weeks ago but I can’t seem to fathom the details behind my procrastination.

Off with my head?

The Story: The demonic troupe of Johnny Depp, director Tim Burton, and Burton’s actress/wife Helena Bonham-Carter collaborated anew for this Disney-produced live animation of their hit cartoon. The story starts back in the day when Europe was stretching their trade route to Asia. Alice, an imaginative young woman who seeks adventure rather than aristocracy, falls to a hole which sends her to an obscure dimension. Here she saw a couple of talking animals, an actual fighting deck of cards, and a couple of obscure characters who all know her as their savior. They tasked the woman to launch an attack to repulse the Red Queen’s malicious intent. Problem is, she doesn’t know shit on how to finish the mission.

What I Liked:

I wasn’t really a fan of the cartoon. I started loving Disney animation during the time of Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Lion King so I was expecting a reboot of some sorts. What I got was...

Oops! I placed this statement on the wrong part of the review. Anywho...

I like how the characters were animated, especially the floating cat, the deck of cards, and the Twiddle characters. Did I say I was a fan of the floating cat? For a person who failed to watch the cartoon, it was one of the recognizable images for me and I was happy they made it awesome. Bonham-Carter played big-headed and pig-headed Red Queen with gusto and I’ll also applaud Anne Hathaway for her performance as the hippie-like White Queen. Depp played The Mad Hatter well enough although I wasn’t really a super fan of his work. I’ll also give credit to the girl that played Alice which is a person that I will search intently in the internet.

What I Hated:

Actually, the obvious thing here is that Johnny Depp got his name even if his character was merely a support character because the person that played Alice was a no-namer (I Wiki-ed it and found out it was In Treatment's Mia Wasikowska). I have issues regarding this. I wondered had they upgraded Anne Hathaway for that role or found some popular young actress like Dakota Fanning would this movie get the star power that it seriously lacked (they could alter the age of the older Alice, right). The other highly-spotted character was Crispin Glover, who had little to work with his weasel character. Sure, the movie was 75 percent inside pure weirdness but of course, it will be the actors that would finish the story, right?

Speaking of which...

I wasn’t really a fan of the cartoon. I started loving Disney animation during the time of Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Lion King so I was expecting a reboot of some sorts. What I got was... a sequel. Who knew this was a sequel? This shock would have made me jump like a catholic school girl at the sight of Zac Efron but no, this movie isn’t Star Trek. I would have loved it if Burton used the Disney library to sample the original cartoon during the flashback scenes for a nostalgia moment but he didn’t. The PR execs of Disney must not have seen their posters because if it was meant to shock the moviegoers... it actually did but in a “Holy Crap” sort of way. It also resembled Hook in some sort of way. Sure, Julia Roberts and Dustin Hoffman played support roles even if they are major stars but back then Robin Williams was riding on the success of Mrs. Doubtfire and Jack.

Just like the lack of a powerful lead and the narrative head’s-up, let me tell you that the movie had instances of being corny. The animals in this flick showed the same qualities of any random Disney-produced TV series character: they could either be too brave but too cute, too afraid but will get the strength to fight, etcetera. If they wanted a younger audience then they must have stuck with Alice the Kid. I’ll also recommend that Tim Burton do less of his “dark” style. Wonderland is not really a cute place. A kid-friendly version of Wonderland could be a la the setting of Monsters, Inc. Anyway, if Burton wanted an older audience, he could have done away of some of the characters particularly the rat. I hated the rat. I hated the rat with ultra disdain (the caterpillar too for that matter because it was too cheesy).

And the cheesiest part that really ticked me off was that horrific dancing. Suddenly that whatever dance Johnny Depp and Alice did during the end parts was ghastly, horrible and reminded me of the Philippine comedies where people were dancing on the beach! They altered the movie for their liking but I cannot believe that they liked this shitty dance act! That was enough for me to sit as the credits roll and utter “What the fuck” repeatedly inside my head!

The Verdict: Alice in Wonderland is a rollercoaster ride. Some parts you’ll really, really love but most parts you’ll really, really hate. It’s a hit or miss situation that you can afford to watch though...

Game over.


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