Alice in Wonderland (film review), by Lewis Carroll

Well, dear readers, I saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland over the weekend, and the best thing I can say about it is that it's probably best that the horrors of the Percy Jackson movie are still so fresh in my mind. It's not that the Alice movie was good, but everything looks better in comparison.

Burton's film had its strengths. The casting was solid, and I thought the actress playing Alice was great. (I've heard complaints that she was too detached, but found them groundless. She's supposed to be English, after all. That's not detachment, it's phlegm.) I approved of the fact that they were making a continuation rather than a straight adaptation, as the original text has never translated well to film, and I enjoyed the movie's early scenes depicting Alice's life in the real world.

Unfortunately, things went way downhill once Alice stepped into Wonderland. The movie turned into just another poorly-written fantasy adventure, complete with a climactic battle scene between a sword-waving hero and a slavering monster. (And what was up with giving the Jabberwocky a generic dragon vibe? Was Tenniel's eel-on-steroids version not scary enough?) The conflict between the too-cute-to-be-truly evil Red Queen and prancing White Queen was meaningless, and I have never found CGI battle scenes even remotely compelling.

But as I said: I'm currently grading all movies on a curve that features Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which means that I'd have to give Alice in Wonderland a solid B-. It wasn't anything close to what I'd hoped for, but—thanks to Chris Columbus and the dread Dr. Titley—I now know that it could have been so much worse.
Posted by: Julianka


11 Mar, 2010 12:20 AM @ version 0

Eh, I really like the works of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, but this movie has not appealed to me. I figure that I shall probably see it eventually, but maybe not in the movie theater.

11 Mar, 2010 01:03 AM @ version 0

If you do go, try not to pay full price--this is a matinée candidate if ever I saw one.

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