Movie Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass

 BY: BECCA ARKWRIGHT

 BETHANY W.Va. Synopsis:

In this sequel to the 2010 film, Alice in Wonderland, we catch up with Alice as she is traveling around the world on her father’s ship, The Wonder. We watch as Alice captains the ship away from pirates and narrowly escapes them by expertly maneuvering the boat to safety. Three years later, Alice is on her voyage home to London to meet with her mother and her business partner Lord Ascot, only to find that the late Lord Ascot has since passed, and his son has taken over the family business. Unfortunately the son, Hamish, still holds a grudge against our young Alice for declining his marriage proposal some years ago. Soon Alice finds that her mother sold her shares of the company along with their house. Hamish insists that Alice also signs over her father’s ship in order for him to return the ownership of their house, and he promises Alice will have a place being a clerk in the business. Alice is furious with this turn of events and flees the meeting.  

Alice then notices a butterfly pass her and recognizes him as her friend, Absolem, who she follows into a study and through a mirror. Alice ends up entering Wonderland once again to find all of her friends from the previous film. Except for this time the happy faces are no more. Now they are meeting to discuss the troubles that have befallen their friend Tarrant Hightopp/ The Mad Hatter aka Hatter, who has not been himself and seeks the help of his dear friend Alice. Upon arriving at his house, Alice is shocked to see that Hatter is more reserved than she remembers him to be. He asks her for help with a quest to find the family that he had previously thought to be dead but now believes that they are still alive somewhere. Alice, distraught with this news, tells him that it is impossible to find his family because she believes them to be dead. Hatter, upset by her unwillingness to help, becomes very dark and kicks her out of his home exclaiming that she is not HIS Alice. 

Leaving his house and realizing that something must be done, Alice seeks the help of Time in order to find out what happened to Hatter’s family long ago. But Time knows that messing with the past is very dangerous and denies Alice the tool that she needs to travel back in time. Alice steals the Chronosphere from Time and so begins her journey back to find Hatter’s missing family. On the way, Alice discovers the mystery behind the Red Queen’s descent into evil where she was betrayed by her younger sister and was the victim of a freak accident that caused her head to grow bigger. From that day forth, she sought revenge one everyone and anyone that ever laughed at her. 

While Alice is trying to avoid Time and find Hatter’s family, she runs into the younger Tarrant and tries to convince him that family means everything and not to give up hope on them. Eventually, Alice and the younger Hatter team up against the Red Queen and are able to locate his family, which had been shrunk and being held captive by the Queen in an ant farm display. Soon they find that is the least of their worries when the effects of the stolen Chronosphere start to take a major toll on Time, and The Red Queen breaks the laws of time by showing her present self to her younger self. When she does this, the world begins to turn in on itself and Alice must rush her friends back to the present day in order to restore the Chronosphere and set things back in order. 

 

Review:

I personally liked this movie better than the first not only because you already know the characters and have the back story to support your current understandings, but the humorous aspect that Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) injects into the storyline. His crazy behavior and cliché lines offer a pleasant humorous relief to the relatively serious second journey of Alice. From the wittiness of The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) to the independently strong determination of Alice (Mia Wasikowska) we see a movie that represents a group of well-rounded characters.

Throughout the film, Alice struggles with the concept of time and feels that he has cheated her and taken important things from her. She thinks time is responsible for taking her father away from her at a young age. In the end, Alice learns that time isn't her enemy, but something to be treasured and appreciated.

James Bobin has always been intrigued by the concept of time and changing the past, as well as all the questions it posed, which happened to fit perfectly within the framework of screenwriter Woolverton’s story. The screenwriter then proceeded to create a new draft with Time as an actual character.Though this movie takes a different direction than that of Tim Burton’s prequel, James Bobin took the Wonderland world to new extremes and was able to bring audiences a well-developed storyline that families will come to love. 

 

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