I went into this movie with very modest expectations. Reviews were awful; trailers were mediocre; the only thing that really maintained my desire to see this film was my enjoyment of the first one. Ultimately, what I got was a watchable, but poorly-made attempt at a cash grab. This is going to be my first review including major spoilers, which will be written in red.
The plot of this film is absolutely ridiculous. It is essentially a completely formulaic time travel plot. Alice risks all of society to make the Mad Hatter happy again. She is warned multiple times that it could be extremely dangerous, but she still does it anyway. Let me explain the plot of the film in the least confusing way that I can. This synopsis includes spoilers. The film is about this magical device, called the chronosphere, which powers all of time. It also happens to be a time-traveling vehicle that Alice steals so that she can prevent the Mad Hatter's family from dying years ago, as it is making the Hatter sad since he thinks that they are still alive. This causes time to start to unravel. Meanwhile, the Red Queen is jealous because in their childhood, her sister, the White Queen, ate some tarts that she wasn't supposed to and blamed it on the Red Queen, ultimately leading to her head swelling up. Alice goes through the past, only to find out that the Hatter's family is still alive, but when she returns, the chronosphere is stolen by the Red Queen. She then destroys all existence because her her past self sees her current self. But if the chronosphere is replaced, it fixes the problem. If that sounds convoluted, that's because it is. The ending also makes absolutely no sense at all. The Red Queen ends existence because her past self saw her, however replacing the chronosphere fixes it. In the mythology of the film, there is no connection between the two events. The film treats it as if replacing the chronosphere erases the fact that her past self saw her current self, which does not happen, and therefore, it should not have worked. Spoilers are over. The film is watchable, but it barely managed to keep my interest, as I had seen similar plots so many times in the past.
The film's acting is also not as strong as that of the first film. Johnny Depp is just way too excessive in this film, and is even creepier. Mia Wasikowska is not believable and doesn't look like she wanted to make this film. Anne Hathaway is still annoying in her role. Even Helena Bonham Carter, who was the best part of the first film, becomes annoying and excessive. I usually like Sacha Baron Cohen in his over-the-top, goofy roles, like "Hugo" and "Les Miserables", however his character used many of the same antics as those films. It truly seemed like a reiteration of his role from "Hugo". He wasn't miscast, but instead, he felt typecast.
The film does, however, manage to maintain its quality in visual style. The director, Bobin, incorporates a style similar to Burton's, but a shade brighter. The cinematography is still very good, as is the CGI. The filmmakers were good at creating vivid landscapes and appearances for the characters, however the writers were unable to concoct characters as complex as they look.
So overall, I can't really say that I was disappointed with "Alice Through the Looking Glass", as I didn't expect much, however it definitely was not good. Fans of the source material may want to check it out, and younger children may like it, but it did not deliver for me.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Big Tuna's Rating: C-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: No.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.