Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland: A review, in a nutshell!

MadhatterYou would be hard pressed to try and find someone that hasn’t seen some version of “Alice in Wonderland”. Most have seen the famous version that was made by Disney in 1951. Just looking at a movie website, I’ve been able to find twenty-one different versions. So, it should come as no surprise that yet another version has been made and in 3D no less. If you had asked me who would be the best person to make a new version of Alice, I would have been the first to tell you that Tim Burton is the only director I could imagine taking us on another adventure to Wonderland. Surprise, that’s exactly who they got to direct this new film. Unfortunately, this version lacked the humor, wonder, imagination and whimsy that I was hoping to see.
The story begins with Alice as a little girl that is plagued with nightmares of her first trip to Wonderland. It seems that she doesn’t remember her first trip and only thinks that it is a recurring nightmare she has been having. As she grows up, she still has the nightmare but no memory of the events actually taking place. Needless to say, she finds herself falling down the rabbit hole once more, but seems to think she is just dreaming again. She begins exploring and doesn’t seem to be much impressed with her surroundings but just rather perplexed as to how and why she’s there. The story continues from there but honestly I didn’t really care what happened. Visually, this film is stunning and they seemed to have a very clear vision of what they wanted Wonderland to be, but despite the fantastic look of the film, the plot was rather uninspired and seemed to be written more for adults rather than children.
On paper, this movie should have been amazing. There is a great cast, the director is tailor made for this material and visually the movie was outstanding. Unfortunately, when I left I was completely underwhelmed. Everything should have come together but ultimately it came down to a poor script. So, no matter how good everything is, with a poor script there’s not much anyone can do to save the film. I went in with such high expectations due to my love of Tim Burton’s films that I was totally disappointed. If you do decide to go see this film, at least upgrade to the 3D version and enjoy the visuals.

C+

J. Chandler

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