I’ve heard a lot of mixed reactions about the newest venture into Wonderland, this time brought to you by the weird guy known as Tim Burton. I had some high expectations myself and I’m a little sad to say that they weren’t met.
I’m not going to trash the film. For what it’s worth, I was mostly entertained and I knew what I was getting myself into: going on crazy nonsensical adventure with what I presumed would be a wee girl named Alice. Burton decided to rework the original story to give Alice’s character and the story itself more grounding and structure. What I mean by that is, to Burton, he felt the original story was a series of events rather than a plot that you’re able to get lost in.
So with that, came some creative liberties me and a few of my friends weren’t expecting. My friend was sad to find that the songs from the animated Disney classic were missing. I think now I’m recalling someone mentioning that leaving out the singing was a good thing. I can’t quite remember the songs, so it doesn’t bother me either way. Some other liberties taken: the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass is mixed into the story. So if you don’t remember characters like the White Queen in the animated version or the first book, it’s because she didn’t come until Alice went back in Looking Glass. For the most part, Burton’s film does follow the original story. So it shouldn’t throw you off too much. Another key difference, Alice is older. But you would figure that out before Alice even enters Wonderland.
It’s a crime Johnny Depp still has yet to be award with an Oscar. As creepy as the posters and trailers make him look, he plays a truly delightful character as the Mad Hatter. I couldn’t help but notice some Jack Sparrow coming through, but since the Hatter is a bit whacked out of his mind, it would make sense that he never seems to stay on the same page for very long, however, he is always in the same book.
It’s my honest and humble opinion that this movie does not need to be viewed in 3D, whereas Avatar, it’s almost a requirement. So if you don’t see the special 3D showing, you aren’t missing anything. However, the technology doesn’t hurt this film, and it will reward you in a couple scenes, I think I would’ve enjoyed it just fine without the use of nifty glasses. Since 3D showings tend to be a bit more expensive sometimes, I would say go for the cheaper version. If you bring the kids, go for the 3D, it should be fun for them.
I don’t normally give movies a grade, but I think I can say B-. See it for Johnny Depp’s brilliance. Also, see my favorite Wonderland character, the Chester Cat.