Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass, C
Rated PG, 113 minutes
If you feel the ground shaking, it's likely Lewis Carroll turning over in his grave once more after seeing the visually colorful but lackluster "Alice Through the Looking Glass," the sequel to the Tim Burton (who produces "Looking Glass") film "Alice in Wonderland," a huge hit memorable for being a wonderful mess. If only "Looking Glass'" muddled time travel story was as inspired as its visuals it would've been a wonder. After slipping through a mirror, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself back in Wonderland with the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Her friends tell her that the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is depressed over the death of his family. Hoping to save his loved ones, Alice steals the Chronosphere from Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) to travel into the past. While there, she encounters the younger Hatter and the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). Directed by James Bobin ("The Muppets Most Wanted") and directed by "Alice in Wonderland's" Linda Woolverton, the vibrantly dull "Alice Through the Looking Glass" is Disney's latest game attempt to throw big bucks at remaking a classic, and much like "Wonderland," the results are remarkably bland and mediocre. It's a smidgen better than the 2010 hit, but that isn't really saying much, and while most would want to blame Depp, it's not entirely his fault and actually his odd Mad Hatter fits in nicely with the strange surroundings, which for purists sake bear little resemblance to anything from Carroll's stories. The best addition is Cohen, who has a good time as the good/bad guy Time, who's really everyone's enemy, and there are a handful of nice touches along the way, including life and death (think stopwatches) and some of his cohorts, including his long-suffering butler Wilkins, voiced by Toby Jones. Wasikowska is game as ever and Bonham Carter, as usual, chews on any scenery that happens to be in the scene, which may hold your interest from the confusing time travel element, which seems heavily borrowed not from Lewis Carroll but from Marty McFly and "Back to the Future." "Alice Through the Looking Glass" is a busy but forgettable affair that's so concerned with time, it's ironic what a waste of it is really is.