The first Alice in Wonderland might have made more than $1 billion worldwide, but it’s not exactly a secret that lots of people didn’t like that film. So here we are, six years later, and the sequel is finally being released. The buzz is gone, the dislike is stronger than ever, and Mia Wasikowska still isn’t the star the first film hoped she might be. Without meaning to go in with too much negativity, there is a big question mark around this film as to why it got made. Johnny Depp is not the bankable star he once was, and without Tim Burton directing, both of the film’s major selling points are no longer there. Well… Good luck!
Now returning home after time spent travelling the world, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) finds that things aren’t much better than when she left. When she hits a particularly low point, she finds that she has the ability to return to Wonderland, but things there aren’t much better. The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is in a bad way, and Alice finds that the only way she can save him is by travelling back in time. Naturally, Time is a person in Wonderland, and he’s not too keen to help.
This film started off being exactly what I was hoping it wouldn’t be. I was bored, the story wasn’t interesting, nothing made sense, and everything just felt rushed. They clearly wanted to get to Wonderland as soon as possible, and once there they wanted to get to The Hatter as soon as possible. As you might expect, rushing this was detrimental to the overall feel of the story. But then something happens that completely changed my opinion of the film.
Sacha Baron Cohen as Time is an inspired character, and after laughing out loud at his entrance, the film significantly improves from that point on. He consistently made me laugh but was also threatening, and carried some dramatic moments. Helena Bonham Carter also provides some nice moments as The Queen of Hearts, and the two of them together have great chemistry. The time travel plot is also well handled, with various locations and time periods keeping things interesting. By the time we reach the final events of the film, I was actually tense and even cared about what was going to happen.
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