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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Review: Alice In Wonderland (PG) ★★★★
19-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.


Tim Burton teams up with Johnny Depp once more, for the risky rehashing of Lewis Carroll's Whimsical masterpiece. And succeeds.

The story begins with the child Alice, who, woken by a strange dream, tells her father its the same dream she's always had. 13 years on, a nineteen year old Alice is about to be proposed to by a man she doesn't love, when she sees a white rabbit in the bushes and follows him to a rabbit hole, which she promptly falls into. Now admittedly, up until this point and rather unsurprisingly for Burton, the mundanity of "normal" life is about as exciting to watch as a sloth's home video. That you've already seen. But in 3D, at the IMAX cinema, falling down that rabbit hole with Alice, you can tell you're in for a treat.

Mia Wasikowska is really quite good as Alice, but it's Johnny Depp who will blow you away as the Mad Hatter, who is of course insane, but also beautifully heroic. Finally an American who can deliver not only a fantastic English accent, but also a superbly menacing Scottish one, when randomly spouting verses of the Jabberwocky poem.

Alice must defeat the Jabberwocky in order to free the whole of Wonderland (or Underland) from the maniacal Red Queen, so that the White Queen may reign once more. The White Queen is where the otherwise spectacular cast is let down. Anne Hathaway is such a nonentity in this film that she might as well have shaved off her vast eyebrows and let them take over.

Eventually Alice ends up back where she started, at a party thrown to celebrate the proposal she hasn't yet accepted. This, the last ten minutes of the movie, or if you will, the second of the two slices of stale bread completing the excitement sandwich. Is (as you can probably tell with the terrible metaphor) just as wrist slittingly boring as the beginning.

However, fortunately for you and your wrists it doesn't matter, because Alice -actually- in Wonderland will leave you grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

Review Submitted and Rated by: Lesley Williams


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