All right boils and ghouls, its time to take a little trip. No, I'm not talking about the rabbit hole as one might think when referencing "Alice In Wonderland". I'm talking about straight up fucking acid. I'm talking about random violence in a land inspired by nightmares and crayola crayons where nothing makes sense and the moral of the story is to make your own decision. Well, I'm making my own decision now and that's to stay away from Tim Burton until he decides to do something worth while with my time.
Hot damn, Alice is being forced into marriage. Does she want to? Hell no. The guys a goob. So what does she do? She's chases that damn rabbit into an acid trip...scratch that...Wonderland again. This time though she's older and somehow doesn't remember a thing about going into Wonderland (now deemed Underland since she was a stupid kid and called it the wrong thing I guess) the first time. Only, now its a little bit like Narnia and a bitchy queen, that's the red one, is ruling with an iron fist over her too-good-to-actually-help-her-people, the White Queen. She finds a whole slew of new/old friends that are there to help her fulfill her destiny to slay the Jabberwocky and put the White Queen back into power all the while learning a valuable lesson about the 'real' world along the way. Oh and there's a bandersnatch in there too.
"Alice In Wonderland" is not a remake. Nor a re-imagining. It's actually a sequel. And as much as I love to hear that sequels are being made still, its a stretch to even think of it that way. It's more like 'loosely based on a story that's deemed too kid like so we need to beef it up' kind of film that's under the SAME NAME. You couldn't call it something else, guys? Maybe something that would indicate that you are trying something new? No? Well that's just stupid. It's like they didn't know what they were doing with the idea until it was done and they already copyrighted the name again.
That's okay though, cause they got freaking Tim Burton to direct it. Which means Johnny Depp gets a big role. It's really a two for one deal at this point. And despite being a pretty visually stunning film, in 3D at theaters to top that, its the same damn thing that Burton always does. A little nightmare wankery here. A bit of scary but sort of funny humor there. Occasionally his wife in this role or that. With a pinch of random to make sure that any sort of logic is destroyed. Burton hasn't been the same in years and quite frankly, he needs to try something new. He does the same thing over and over and over again and "Alice In Wonderland" never strays too far from his standard shite.
Its nice visually but it still flounders from some series flaws in logic and character work. Not that I was expecting much but I was sure hoping that a 3D movie that's 88% CGI might have a little depth to it. Just maybe. Yet we are left with a plethora of paper thin characters and a pretty simple kid's lesson that's beaten into your face. And an unintentional lesson that violence will make everything all right in the end as long as you decapitate your enemy's champion. Now that's the best lesson I've learned since first grade! Can I can a fudderwacken dance to that!?!
Overall, "Alice In Wonderland" just ends up feeling more rushed and confused than the far superior Disney cartoon version (or first one in teh series I guess). It has some fun moments (the Mad Hare is awesome for throwing things) and some nice visuals but its lack of depth and overall flow of story muddles it way too much. Tim Burton has become a parody of what he was at his prime with "Edward Scissorhands" and "Beatlejuice" and he needs to move to new ground before his own imagination swallows reality whole.
BONUS RANT: So the ending of the film, maybe spoilers (?), has Alice returning to reality and telling everyone off and than suggesting a trade route to China for her father's friends trading agency. What?!? Oh I get it. Her 'dream' was actually about China! It all makes sense now. She has to overthrow the 'red queen' by killing a 'dragon' to empower the 'white queen' to her proper place as ruler of all the land. This movie was about Britain taking over China and the struggles in Hong Kong. Duh! Should have easily seen that one coming! Err!
Written By Matt Reifschneider