Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is now a ship’s captain, like her father, returning to London from China after three long years. At a soiree Alice soon finds out a lot has changed — her ex-fiancé Hamish Ascot (Leo Bill), has been married off as well as taken over his father’s company. It doesn’t help that Alice’s mother (Lindsay Duncan) has sold her shares of the company and now they’re expected to sell her ship in order to keep their home. Alice will have none of this so she locks herself in a room and follows her blue caterpillar friend (Alan Rickman) now a butterfly through the mirror into Underland. There Alice meets up with the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and the rest of the Tea Party gang — except Tarrant Hightopp the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), who is depressed and locked away in his house. Hightopp believes his family is still alive after finding the remains of his first hat he made. Alice doesn’t believe him because they were all killed, and so he sends her off. The White Queen suggests Alice pay a visit to Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) and see if she can go back and save his family, thus saving his sanity. Time isn’t so friendly, so Alice has to steal the Chronosphere to travel back to that fateful day, only with Time chasing her she winds up at the Red Queen’s (Helena Bonham Carter) coronation day. That day also happens to be the day the Mad Hatter embarrasses his father, leading him to be a big disappointment. Alice fails to convince the Mad Hatter to save his family, but she learns that there was something happened between the White Queen and Red Queen in the past that might be able to alter the future. Will Alice be able to figure out what happened and rescue the Mad Hatter’s family, restoring his health or will Time stop her first?
Alice Through the Looking Glass is a bizarre movie with a weak plot and little or no creativity, humor and fun. The basic conflict and plot of trying to change the past to make for a better future seems like something they pulled out of a Once Upon a Time episode. It doesn’t help that as the movie goes on (quite predictably) and revelations are made, they’re all very lackluster, feeling like they used a first draft’s placeholders. It also doesn’t help that much of the conflict simply could have been avoided had Alice talked to her Mad Hatter friend rather than immediately dismiss his claims that his family is still alive. The story also does no service to the characters, most of which are stuck at a tea party and given little to do. There are moments here and there with the wordplay around Time that seem to evoke the humor and charming tone of the books, but they’re too little and far between. The visuals, while impressive (even in plain ol’ 2-D), can’t overcome a basic, boring story. Despite all these complaints, this sequel isn’t as bad Maleficent, but then again that’s not saying much.