Amidst an absolutely dizzying deluge of special effects there resides James Bobin’s film, Alice Through The Looking Glass (ATTLG).
It’s a curious affair and if ever we were in need of an example of style winning over substance, this is it.
It’s very loosely based upon Lewis Carroll’s novel in so much as many of the characters are the same and one or two of the story lines are touched upon, but essentially this film adaptation, ATTLG, is a simple tale in which Alice, (Mia Wasikowska), attempts to help her old friend, Hatter Tarrant Hightopp (Johnny Depp), who is seemingly not long for this world – such is his grief at the disappearance of his family, all presumed dead at the hands of the wicked Red Queen.
Alice must go back in time to ascertain once and for all exactly what happened to them, and to try, if at all possible, to save them at some point in time prior to that when their fate was apparently sealed!
And so we are whisked hither and thither through time by way of the remarkable Chronosphere – a time travel device and the property of clock-like character, ‘Time,’ himself (Sacha Baron Cohen) – on all sorts of weird and wonderful adventures.
In spite of a decidedly wafer thin plot, there’s actually a fair amount to like about ATTLG.
An all-star cast of comedians and actors who can put in a good comic turn is essentially the film’s saving grace. A plethora of these bizarre characters either help or hinder Alice along her merry way. Particular mention should go to the ever comic facial expressions of Matt lucas’ Tweedle Dum and Dee, and Helena Bonham Carter (Iracebeth – The Red Queen) who is excellent, together with her enormous head!
The pace is frenetic throughout, with barely a pause for breath or a moment to mull over the slightly more outlandish ideas that the film attempts to embrace. In all honesty, this is a wise tactic. No matter how whacky or convoluted some of the concepts touched upon may be, ATTLG unsurprisingly probably doesn’t stand up too well to any sort of in-depth critical analysis or scrutiny.
But that’s OK.
There’s enough here to boggle a young mind or two, to tickle the funny bone of any adult viewers, and the absolute tidal wave of impressive magical effects should whip up energy and enthusiasm in even the most hard-to-please of grumps.