Alice in Wonderland 3-D: Too Much Burton; Too Little Carroll

An Active3D Movie Review

Rating (out of 5 stars): * * *

In the recent (Robert Zemeckis) version of  A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ writing was closely adhered to, and it paid dividends. (OK, so the motion capture animation was awful, but that’s another issue…) This version of a classic tale has taken a turn for the worse, however. Whilst he’s unmistakably a fine filmmaker, Tim Burton appears to have bought into all the hype about him, and has clearly decided that his revisionist take on the Lewis Carroll classic is superior to the original. I don’t believe that  it is.

There is little doubt in most literary minds that Dickens’ trippy story is darker than it has been envisioned in many movies (Disney’s original included), but this bleak vision, sans much of the dialogue that helped to make Carroll’s book a classic, goes one rabbit-hole too far.

Burton has also plumped for one of those visual gimmicks that far too many moviemakers are falling back upon these days, and that is the bleeding of most of the colour out of the images.   If you’ve seen those two recent (and unbearably dreary) post-apocalyptic flicks, ‘The Road’ and ‘Book of Eli’, you’ll know what I mean.

Mia Wasikowska, as Alice, is a dream to behold. A fine young actress, and one whose visage falls kindly upon the retina. Helena Bonham Carter delivers an amusingly villainous queen, and Johnny Depp; well, he’s doing his paint-by-numbers Quirky Routine.

As I had expected, the film puts some captivating visual effects on the menu, and these are supported by amusing voice performances from a ‘Best of the UK’ roundup, which includes Stephen Fry, Barbara “Carry On” Windsor, Alan Rickman, and Timothy Spall. Is it entertaining? Sure. Is it the “wow” experience to which I had looked forward – the ultimate visualisation of the Lewis Carroll classic? Nope. In fact, it couldn’t even be regarded as a Lewis Carroll story any longer. If he were around today, he would probably have sued Tat Wolfen

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One Response to “Alice in Wonderland 3-D: Too Much Burton; Too Little Carroll”

  1. Antoine Cech Says:

    But here comes the new stuff. For the first time Burton directs a story with a female main character. Due to his possible inability to make it strong and interesting enough, Alice is a poor character and it throws away the good chance of taking advantage of Mia Wasikowska’s talent. The responsibility of keeping the attention of the public falls again on the capable hands of Johnny Depp, that this time, couldn’t make The Hatter character enjoyable. But actually, with that twisted concept of it (those hideous eyes, the hair and the hysteric personality) no actor can make it enjoyable. It’s a shame that all the commotion that the movie has caused is finally translated into an eternally boring movie experience that could have been resumed in over 40 minutes.

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