Alice Through the Looking Glass is the sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s a fun, adventure of a movie with a very strong and inspirational female lead character. Which is a bit rare to see in a Summer Blockbuster Movie.
Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Underland once again and it’s not for a social visit. This time she must undertake a quest to save the life of a dying Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), after he finds a tiny hat from his past. A hat he thought was burned by the Jabberwocky, along with his family on Horovendoush Day, at the Hightopp Village. The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) tells her of a way that could save the Hatter. She must travel to the castle of Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) and use his Chronosphere to travel into the past. She ignores his warnings and “borrows” the Chronosphere anyways. Alice journeys in and out of the past, with Time following behind her attempting to stop her from making a mistake and destroying everything.
What happened to the Mad Hatter’s family on Horovendoush Day? What caused the rift between the Red Queen and the White Queen? How did the Red Queen’s head get that way? During Alice’s jaunt through the past, much of this is revealed. Alice also runs into Tarrant (Hatter), sees Mirana (White Queen), Iracabeth (Red Queen) and other Underlandians as youngsters.
Time-traveling movies all seem to follow the same rules of consequences: In which you can’t change the past, meeting yourself in the past is not good and what you intended to do could be the very thing that causes the problem. Which is what Alice learns, the hard way, by not listening to Time itself.
I’m not a huge fan of Sacha Baron Cohen, or his Borat, Bruno and Ali G. charcaters/movies. But I really enjoyed him as Time in this movie. There are a lot of time jokes when he joins Hatter and friends at the tea party which are pretty funny. The late Alan Rickman voices the character of Absolem, who makes an appearance in the beginning, and there is a touching nod to him at the end of the film.
Director James Bonin keeps the look a feel of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, but adds his own touch to it. Time’s castle and the steampunk look of his minions, Seconds, Minutes and Hours are very cool. The younger versions of the Tweedles, Cheshire Cat, McTwisp, Bayard, Mallymkun and Thackery are cute too. Cheshire Cat is still my favorite. I think I enjoyed this film way more than Alice in Wonderland.
The beginning of the film is quite an inspiring scene. It involves Alice as the captain of her late father’s ship, The Wonder, heading towards jagged rocks and being chased by pirates in a turbulent storm. With no escape in sight except one that looks impossible, but nothing is unpossible to Alice. What she does to get away safely is amazing and genius. The scene is inspiring on so many levels: She’s a captain of her own ship, with a crew that respects her and during a male dominated time period.
Alice is just a normal girl. She’s not superhuman. Yet, she does these things because she can do anything she sets her mind to do. She seemed to learn this in the first film, while in this one she learns the importance of family and time.
Alice Through the Looking Glass stars Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Rhys Ifans, Stephen Fry, Ed Speleers, Michael Sheen, Matt Lucas, Timothy Spall, Toby Jones, Lindsay Duncan, Matt Vogal and Barbara Windsor. Rated PG and opens Friday, May 27th.