This is 2010’s “re-imagining” of Alice in Wonderland, brought to you by director Tim Burton (Batman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). If you have seen more than one Burton movie before, then you know what you are in for. Eccentric characters, strange places and most of it you probably will not bother to understand.
Everything that happens outside Wonderland is not interesting in the least. While Alice is dealing with family problems, you are just waiting for her to go to Wonderland. Even after she drops into the rabbit hole, you still have to endure an extremely boring scene of her figuring out how to fit into a tiny door. I admit I was impressed with Wonderland’s look when it was (finally!) revealed. For a moment, I even thought it looked better than Pandora. But as the movie progresses, you realize it takes more than just CGI special effects to build a good movie.
Marketing for Alice in Wonderland was centered on the Mad Hatter, played by Johnny Depp. Johnny Depp fanatics will most likely enjoy this character, who is basically Jack Sparrow’s soul in Willy Wonka’s body. I was not impressed, perhaps even bored at times. Although it was probably not the actor’s fault because I am assuming the script given to him was sub-par in the first place. The Mad Hatter could have used a more meaningful storyline rather than just show up and recite lines that nobody understood.
The Mad Hatter interacts with a group of minor characters (mostly animals) that are only mildly entertaining. A huge amount of work has gone into animating the characters, even some of the humans have digitally modified body parts, but all that is ultimately meaningless against the boring storyline. The purple worm was a tad more important to the story than the others, but it did not appear much and was forgettable for the most part.
Anne Hathaway plays the White Queen, who was sadly the only interesting character I could find. The backstory of her dethronement and her rivalry with the Red Queen was more interesting than the rest of the film. She eventually leads Alice into battle against the Red Queen’s army of walking cards. If you were expecting an epic Lord of the Rings war, you will be disappointed. The film went for something of a much smaller scale, and I was puzzled as to why the filmmakers did not go all out with the final battle since it was all computer generated anyway.