The visuals are definitely the strongest part of the film. The cinematography is often beautiful, showcasing the lush (but computer-generated) landscapes in the film. Much of the CGI is also very good, with only a few elements looking bad. The Red Queen's soldiers, for example, really had no need to be CGI and looked very cartoon-like when next to the Knave of Hearts. Other CGI elements, such as the Jabberwocky or Absolem, look great and fit well into the frame. Burton's macabre visual style is also evident in this film, and it is fitting, adding another layer of wonder and bizarreness to an already bizarre world.
The acting of the film is mostly good. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are great at capturing the insanity of their respective characters. Both are also very good at providing comedic relief at times, which is needed to combat the somber tone of the film when it becomes too much. Mia Wasikowska has some highs and some lows in her performance. Her interactions with Depp are often great, however when she is found alone or has interactions with Helena Bonham Carter, they could be weak and unnatural at times. Anne Hathaway's performance is probably my least favorite in the film. She overuses gestures and her accent is really annoying. She also doesn't really show much emotion, which is one of my pet peeves.
The writing is definitely the weakest area of this film. While the plot is interesting and easy enough to follow, it overly relies on expository dialogue to tell the story. There is a 13 year gap from the opening scene of the film to its main events, and to account for this, characters mention "that time when that happened" way too often, and in a way that isn't fully natural to the flow of the conversation. To me, it seemed like the film was saying, "Hey. You. Yeah, you. The viewer. Something happened in that giant gap that we didn't show you. It was implied by previous events of the film, but we just wanted to make sure you got it. Did you get it? Are you sure? Are you completely sure? Okay."
So overall, "Alice in Wonderland" is really interesting and has some amazing visuals, but has some flaws in its writing. It's good, but it isn't great. I don't expect much from "Alice Through the Looking Glass", but I hope that it is at least fun and has some good visuals.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Big Tuna's Rating: B
How Did I Watch It?: Digital that I own.
Had I Seen It Before?: Yes.
Would I Watch It Again?: Probably.