<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by James Bobin. Starring Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Rhys Ifans, Ed Speleers
Running Time: 1 hour 48 minutes
While the first Alice back in 2010 was visually spectacular and interesting, this new one is formula, flat and lacking a plot.
With very little to do with Lewis Carroll’s book, Through The Looking Glass gets ‘Captain Alice’ (Mia Wasikowska) back into Wonderland through a mirror. She’s much older now and the reason she’s wanted back is to ‘fix’ the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) who has fallen into a deep depression thinking that his long lost family is still alive but nowhere to be found. So Alice must steal the time travel device (the chromosphere) kept by Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen) and travel back in time to change events, which she should actually just be ‘learning’ from.
But, as expected, things aren’t so simple. The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) had a rift in their childhood, and so this backstory is explained: why did the ‘queen of hearts’ turn so wicked. Really? That was it? The flimsy dialogue, lack of motivation and anything different leave Through The Looking Glass looking pale and worn out.
There’s no fun, no joy or surprise in any of the characters or situations. It’s like they’re just going through the motions with little bits of humour wedged in there that come from a play on phrases about time: ‘I’m on time’, says the Cheshire Cat as he perches on Time’s shoulders.
Sacha Baron Cohen starts off nicely with his role and is suitably funny but this too just dissipates into slapstick. Depp delivers nothing new and is terribly annoying at times. Wasikowska looks way too old to play the young Alice, but she does give it her best.
If the movie was supposed to get across the value of family and time then it has done it in the worst possible way and has only robbed viewers of their precious time.