ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Tim Burton. Alice in Wonderland. Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. Alas, those three bullet points tell us everything we need to know about this frenzied, big-budget event movie that finds 19-year old Alice (Wasikowska) returning to “Underland,” with no memory of having visited before.
This device cleverly allows the filmmakers to position this version as a sequel to all versions that have come before While that narrative shorthand worked for The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Star Trek (2009), it seems a bit of a cheat here (as does that head-scratcher of an epilogue that sets up an adventure we’ll never see).
As usual for a Burton opus, the set designs are tremendous and the 3D visuals mostly work despite being converted after the film was shot. If only Burton and screenwriter Woolverton had invested in the 2D characters and flat dialogue. Seriously, if Carter’s Red Queen said “Off with his head” one more time, I was going to stick my head in a rabbit hole.
Fortunately, I don’t represent the rest of the world who responded to this generic variation of Carroll’s oft-told stories with a bounty of nearly a billion dollars before a quick (rather controversial) turnaround to DVD just 12 weeks after debuting in theaters. (Disney)
— DENNIS WILLIS