Alice: Through the Looking Glass, Almost (Movie Review)

Alice Through The Looking GlassHey guys, Ken here, and today’s Underdog is Alice: Through the Looking Glass. If you’ve seen the first movie, Alice in Wonderland, which released in 2010, you’ll understand why Brian didn’t feel like going to this one (hence why I used the word “underdog”).  The first movie wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t worth paying $20.00 to sit in a crowded room.  The first movie rated 3 out of 5, but I have to say, this sequel was a touch better (but certainly not without it’s flaws).  Some of the flaws from the last movie crossed over, but it also made some improvements. Let me start with the cons.

The leading lady, Mia Wasikowska, hardly ever expressed more than two emotions (and that’s speaking generously). There were times she held a slightly distressed expression, even during the direst of situations.  Other times, she shone a perfect Mona-Lisa smile during times when most of us would be grinning ear-to-ear. I felt like I shouldn’t really care about what was happening since it seemed the main character was detached. How can I sink myself into a movie when the main character isn’t even into it?

Another thing that was off-putting was the return of a whole gang of characters from the first movie that literally had no purpose in the story. Sure, it was cool to see characters from the first movie, but all they did was stand around, and they often were standing around TOGETHER. DOING NOTHING. I wonder how much of the budget went to animating a bunch of characters that didn’t contribute anything to the story?

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Although I was expecting the movie to be a lead-by-the-nose type of story progression, Alice: Through the Looking Glass wasn’t like that at all. They at least trusted their viewers to follow along. The movie felt forced at the beginning, as is typical with sequels hoping to redeem their predecessors, but eventually the story started to gain momentum. It was certainly a pleasant surprise. I would definitely watch it again.

Also, I found myself actually laughing at a few parts. Sacha Baron Cohen does a remarkable job as a villain, and I hope to see him in similar roles in the future. His wit comes through (with a little bit of slapstick as well) with absolutely no hint of his more mature material. Also, Helena Bonham Carter’s Queen of Hearts was not as annoying as in the previous film, and at moments you even start to sympathize with her. It seems at times that Helena wants to deliver a deeper side of The Queen, but doesn’t for some reason.

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And of course, no Alice: Through the Looking Glass review would be complete without mentioning the Mad Hatter himself, Johnny Depp. I do enjoy Depp’s other whimsical and slightly insane characters, but I have to say I found the Hatter in this film lacking something. I’m not saying anyone could do any better, but I’ve seen Depp do more with less. I could have sworn that the accent Depp was carrying in this film sounded slightly southern at times, and I don’t remember feeling that way in Alice in Wonderland.

All together, Alice: Through the Looking Glass gets a score of a 3.5 from me, and as an Underdog film, that’s not too shabby. When I was watching the film, I was surrounded by families with children from ages six on up, and as a father I have to say one of my favorite parts of the movie was hearing all the tiny laughter throughout the theater. This isn’t a movie I’d bring a date to, but it is certainly one I’d bring the kiddos to again and again if they wanted. Of course, if a 3.5 isn’t something you want to spend money on to see in theaters, then wait to see our review of the Blu-ray when it releases!

Alice Through The Looking Glass

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