Reviews

Alice In Wonderland

3

Is she the right Alice? Give her a chance...

Alice in Wonderland review

As lopped heads bob in the Red Queen’s (Helena Bonham Carter, shouty) moat and the White Queen (Anne Hathaway, wispy) mixes potions from old fingers, the theoretically perfect fit of Tim Burton to Lewis Carroll’s skewed surrealism seems perfect in practice, too. As Burton “re-imaginings” go, it’s no stinking Apes. It’s closer to Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, touting sweet scoff for the eyes but struggling to provide a story with the intended emotional weight.

Linda Woolverton’s script aims to put sense into Carroll’s ‘uncommon nonsense’. This Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is 19, quick, clever. Escaping a public, unwanted marriage proposal, she tails our frisky rabbit down to the ‘Underland’ (ouch!) of her childhood dreams. The bulbous-bonced Red now rules, psychotically. Alice must face the despot’s beastly Jabberwocky and Find Her True Destiny. And yes, that is the old cheese of self-discovery subtexts you can smell.

But Burton isn’t one to fret over story when there’s eye-candy to cook. That’s Alice’s USP. Charging round his latest alt-world with the fervour of a “frumious Bandersnatch”, Burton potently tethers hallucinogenic 3D detail to lunging action. Cheshire Cat’s vapour-trails, Blue Caterpillar’s fuzz and light-refracting mushrooms blossom; in motion, a beastie’s rampage makes the undergrowth explode, a dog-ride dizzies the senses and the March Hare’s table-trashing has you ducking. The screen screams “EAT ME”.

Impressively, the cast hold their own. Bonham Carter gives good brat, Matt Lucas is decently deadpan as both Tweedles and Wasikowska’s every-girl registers likeably. Top spot-the-voice presences include Babs Windsor (paint-stripping Dormouse shriek) and Alan Rickman (out-of-his-gourd Caterpillar). As for Burton’s wing-man, Johnny Depp flares vividly as a carrot-topped Hatter, colours undulating to his moods like a DayGlo Rorschach test. Formulaic closing battle and plot-frame aside, this mad menagerie is freakishly fun to escape to.

Verdict:

A new plot swaps Carroll’s madness for Hollywood requisites but the visuals, wit, full-pelt pacing and game casting compensate.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • ChrisWootton

      Mar 8th 2010, 17:35

      1

      It was s**t.... in 3D

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    • jaykays hat

      Mar 8th 2010, 18:21

      2

      Not very good,it bored me. Burton really needs to start upping his game.

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    • beck79

      Mar 12th 2010, 13:26

      2

      I didn't really have high expectations for this film and after watching it, I wasn't wrong. Depp and Burton have become completely predictable and in the worst way. Burton seems to be clinging onto his style but has totally lost how to make a good film. I think the fudderwhack (or whatever it's called) speaks for the whole film.

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    • AJK87

      Mar 12th 2010, 21:43

      3

      A real let down, particularly in terms of the 3D.. or lack of it. Having read the book you'd think the material would suit the style Burton portrays but hes mashed elements from everywhere together and hasn't done Carrol justice. The saving grace was good casting on the voiced characters, hence the extra star!

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    • TheJokerDC

      Mar 19th 2010, 14:09

      3

      Being a Burton film, I was expecting a measure of twisted and strange cinema, but it just didn't engage me as much as I would of liked. Not to worry, Hatter was still quality.

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    • madrox

      Mar 22nd 2010, 9:57

      4

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    • nc1234

      Apr 9th 2010, 12:54

      1

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    • captainchod

      Apr 9th 2010, 15:04

      4

      I went in expecting very little and was actually pleasantly surprised - I really enjoyed it throughout!

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    • sctrob

      Jun 4th 2010, 12:46

      5

      I love Tim Burton's films because he has his own style and fantastic imagaination. Everyone knows his style from the types of movies he has directed like edward scissorhands and charlie and the chocolate factory therefore by going to is movies you should have a good idea of what to expect. Instead of writing a bad review why not just give his next movie a miss and leave it to the people who appriciate Burtons vision for what it is - Truly spectacular!

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    • abbasmomin

      Jun 19th 2010, 9:15

      3

      I don't think there's any way that Tim Burton can go wrong with the visual treatment of a film. Alice in Wonderland looks,& feels amazingly brilliant.The old story of the girl falling down a hole following a rabbit unknowingly entering the fantasy world of 'underland' written by Lewis Carroll still holds strong. Something like 'Alice' is tailor made for Burton. As anything unusually good-looking has earned the title of being called 'Burton-esque'.So not surprisingly the art direction dept.scores brownie points. PERFORMANCES:- Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen with a humongous bulbous face absolutely steals the show.She's one actress who has an arresting presence no matter what role she's playing.It's been a while since i've seen a caricaturish,story-bookish,rude,cruel & unjust Queen done this brilliantly. Johnny Depp lives up to the acting standards that he has set for himself as the at times boisterous,at times subdued but always loyal Mad hatter. This ain't no Willy Wonka or Jack Sparrow caliber role but then again Depp like he has done on numerous occasions before induces mannerisms,movements,& speech which provide a personification to the iconic fictional character. Anne Hathaway has little to do as the overly sophisticated white queen living in her pristine white castle but still manages to make a strong mark on your minds in the little screen time that she possesses & is brilliant as usual. Unfortunately though the title character of Alice played by Mia Wasikowska does not invoke the desired response. Throughout the movie she seems a very confused & a somewhat meek character (which is ironical,as the story's based upon her).As the title character I expected a more convincing screen presence from her. CGI:- The visual effects look terrific,not for once looking out of place,rough or plastic (shame on you 'clash of the titans').The CGI characters look fantastic.The white rabbit,the dormouse,the blue caterpillar Absolem (brilliantly voiced by the ever dependable Alan Rickman) all look exceptional,but the 2 that absolutely stand out are the mumbling-bumbling fat twins Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Matt Lucas) & the sarcastically smiling furry Cheshire cat (Stephen Fry). CONS:- On the downside though I do agree that the narrative structure has been sacrificed (especially for the climax) Also I didn't feel much of an emotional connect with the film,as much as say compared to 'Big Fish' or 'Edward Scissorhands',both Burton masterpieces.Some sequences are really good like the Hatter & Alice talking on the balcony before the war or Hatter describing the atrocities committed by the Red Queen. But at other times it felt the story was going forward just for the sake of progressing. 3-D treatment:- The 3-D treatment of the film is pretty good,& was aesthetically done (again unlike 'Clash').There's much fun to be had in scenes where Alice is falling down the hole,Absolem blowing smoke in Alice's (& our) face,& Alice's encounter with the little creatures popping up in front of our faces every now & then. FINAL VERDICT:- All in all 'Alice' is worth a trip to Wonderland :)

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    • madrox

      Aug 2nd 2010, 13:56

      3

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      Oct 18th 2010, 14:53

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    • peterp

      Nov 24th 2010, 9:17

      4

      Tim burton hasn't done a great film since the nightmare before christmas in 1993, but even then it wasn't as good as Batman from 1989 which is a cult classic pretty much like those early nokia mobile phones that everyone had because they where cheap on pay as you go i think they where 5100's and 3300's, they lasted for ever, you could even drop them in rivers and they would still work

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      Dec 3rd 2010, 8:58

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      Dec 3rd 2010, 8:58

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    • daniellewby

      Dec 11th 2010, 2:06

      5

      I really love this site! Great article. Movies are my favorite! Keep up the great work! Danni from Streetwear

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    • Rebecca259

      Dec 11th 2010, 3:02

      This was a magnificent movie. It was enchanting and made you go back to the Disney cartoon and the book from your childhood. Simply amazing. Auto Insurance Quote

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      Dec 12th 2010, 23:25

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    • nicoleqrcb

      Dec 22nd 2010, 0:00

      5

      This version of Alice in Wonderland was the closest one to the book that I've seen. If you can get threw Johnny Depp its a good movie! This article is great too! Keep up the good work! Nikki from Nuritional Supplements

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    • jordyg18c

      Dec 22nd 2010, 20:18

      This is really a great version of Alice and wonderland. This was so much fun. I really enjoyed everything so much. Thanks investment platform

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    • kanderson3454

      Dec 23rd 2010, 4:44

      2

      I was yawning all through out the movie.:) semenax

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    • Katherine259

      Dec 24th 2010, 5:08

      An absolutely wonderful version of Alice and Wonderland. I loved how they incorporated the Jabberwocky in the story as another one of Lewis Carroll's masterpieces. Thanks Katherine from Term Life Insurance

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    • Amanda259

      Dec 25th 2010, 4:10

      I love this Alice & Wonderland movie and I think the review does it justice. There is a great plot and a wonderful story line. Thanks for the great review. Amanda from Aloë Vera

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    • rockybatleboa

      Dec 29th 2010, 12:58

      I don't think there's any way that Tim Burton can go wrong with the visual treatment of a film. Alice in Wonderland looks,& feels amazingly brilliant.The old story of the girl falling down a hole following a rabbit unknowingly entering the fantasy world of 'underland' written by Lewis Carroll still holds strong. Something like 'Alice' is tailor made for Burton. As anything unusually good-looking has earned the title of being called 'Burton-esque'.So not surprisingly the art direction dept.scores brownie points. PERFORMANCES: lunettes de soleil- Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen with a humongous bulbous face absolutely steals the show.She's one actress who has an arresting presence no matter what role she's playing.It's been a while since i've seen a caricaturish,story-bookish,rude,cruel & unjust Queen done this brilliantl lunettes sur internet

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      Dec 30th 2010, 10:45

      5

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    • victoriafrtg

      Dec 31st 2010, 22:49

      Really kool version of Alice! Great article too! Keep up the great work! Torri from Pre Owned Rolex Watches

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    • erinexec31

      Jan 12th 2011, 2:43

      This is really a great article that I have really enjoyed to say the least. I loved the movie and I cant wait to see it again. Thanks Erin Cane - USA Tours

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    • rissatech33

      Jan 13th 2011, 21:27

      This was a really great movie that I really have enjoyed. This is one of my favorite of all time films. Thanks Marissa Manderson - Internet Marketing Training Expert

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    • Mackenziehnr

      Jan 16th 2011, 5:22

      4

      Great post really loved this movie. This article was great too. Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds

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    • asherspade

      Jan 17th 2011, 15:12

      2

      Definitely expected more from this - the effects alone were not enough to save the movie! There was little to no character development, and if I had never seen or read Alice in Wonderland before, I would have been most lost than a dog doing dental work on an elephant. I agree with Harley - it was a good effort, but I expected more from Tim Burton!

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    • non12step

      Jan 17th 2011, 16:12

      It's pretty much what you'd expect from Tim Burton, but it really doesn't strike an emotional chord like his older films. long-term non 12 step rehab

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    • jimb45

      Jan 17th 2011, 18:24

      5

      I thought the movie was so amazing to see. There is so many great actors in the film that i just love. Johnny Depp is so good in this film. It was very well written. auto loan

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    • Tyler242

      Jan 24th 2011, 6:49

      5

      Just like her head. So big like a moon. Wonder File Reviews

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    • marek

      Jan 26th 2011, 14:51

      Tim Burton is an excellent film and most of the films with Johnny depp are very good. But Alice in Wonderland I was a little disappointed perhaps because of the 3D. Indeed, I have a little trouble with les lunettes 3D. But I prefer les lunettes tendances or les lunettes de soleil.

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    • sarahpaul

      Jan 27th 2011, 9:39

      It's pretty much what you'd expect from Tim Burton, but it really doesn't strike an emotional chord like his older films. download the roommate | download sanctum | download cedar rapids

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      Jan 31st 2011, 14:34

      3

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    • triston31

      Feb 25th 2011, 15:31

      4

      Those of you that wrote bad reviews. Did you hold the new movie up to what you thought it was going to be or did you go in with knowledge that they would remake the children's classic. I thought the movie itself was pretty good. clear wireless internet

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      Mar 1st 2011, 0:34

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    • triston31

      Mar 1st 2011, 21:01

      4

      I saw it again today on DVD. Again. it was pretty good. Mad Hatter made the movie for me ^_^ MLB Extra Innings

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    • jackcollins

      Mar 4th 2011, 14:27

      I like Burtons films much, and i like Depp films too. But Alice in Wonderland it's some worst burtons movie. write my term paper

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    • tcoook23

      Mar 5th 2011, 3:22

      I love it. Tim Burton's work is always sick. Turned an otherwise kind of 'girly' story into something any man could enjoy. regenerect

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      Mar 6th 2011, 12:22

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      Mar 15th 2011, 19:49

      5

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    • lukejt02

      Mar 28th 2011, 21:36

      4

      After all the dodgy reviews was a bit hesitant about seeing it as I was really looking forward to it, and thankfully I really enjoyed it. It's got Burton all over it, love all the characters and the style that makes Burtons movies so great.

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    • deesydia

      May 13th 2011, 13:26

      5

      I am quite fond of Tim Burton's works, but this one really takes the cake! The film is (quite) faithful on the original story, and the actors acted out really well! 5 out of 5 stars for me! Dee - http://woodworkingplansdiy.org

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    • deesydia

      Aug 29th 2011, 6:23

      1

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