182: Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland (PG) - 2010 - Runtime: 108 minutes
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover
Director: Tim Burton

When I first heard about this movie, I was intrigued. The more I heard, too, the more I wanted to see it. It wasn't just a re-imagining of the old tale, but something built upon the first book. I found the idea of Alice going back to Wonderland a more refreshing take and I thought Burton would make it magical (I know, corny, right? What can I say, he's a great director!). But once it came out and the mixed reaction it received I was more hesitant and it wasn't only until it came out a few weeks ago that I finally sat down to watch. Boy, am I glad I did not pay money to see this stinker!

Alice in Wonderland has been so ingrained into our pop culture that it would be hard to find somebody who doesn't know the story. And the new movie has that figured out, at least. Alice is all grown up and finds herself at a crossroads in her life - she is about to be forced to marry a dimwitted douche bag and she's all but an outcast among her peers. Fortunately, she wanders off through the forest and falls into Wonderland where things have gone horribly wrong. This is the set up for what Burton has in store. But it's a rather dull story and it doesn't get going until half an hour in and you're thinking the whole time, haven't I seen this movie before? The story gets a bit better after that, but it's too late. I had already lost interest and was just waiting the movie out. It's like the movie didn't have a purpose. I feel like the movie was more to show off its visuals and the craziness of Tim Burton, rather than tell a proper story. Johnny Depp dials it up as the Mad Hatter, but I would have rather seen a more demented and darker sadistic Hatter that the earlier books and movies only hinted at. Wonderland should be a scary place for an eighteen-year-old girl, but this movie treats it like some theme park.

Sigh. And the movie just rolls along not actually caring to stop and take a breath. There's just this inevitable climactic battle scene that it wants to get to at the end and damn if anything is going to be interesting along the way. The acting is okay, but I felt the movie was too big for its own good. That's to say, I only saw Helena Bonham Carter, not the Red Queen. Johnny Depp was his usual self and like one of my co-workers has said, I just wish him and Burton would have sex already (they're teaming up again for another movie called Dark Shadows, sheesh!).

So I would most definitely avoid this movie. It might be a dull distraction, though on a very dull day indeed, but you can find much better entertainment than this movie. In fact, I think this will be Tim Burton's least memorable movie. I'm sure in five to ten years most people will forget about this one. It's DOA in my book.

Rating: Not Worth Paying For!

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