Friday, September 21, 2012

Alice In Wonderland (Tim Burton, 2009) Review

Tim Burton...what is wrong with you? You seriously have mental issues if THIS is what you think of when you think 'Alice in Wonderland'. I, personally, think of the animated Disney adaptation but apparently that wasn't creepy enough for Burton's liking. He had to go and add his personal touch to it so expect some messed up things but which version of the story is the better one? Let's take a look.

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is a nineteen-year-old girl who ends up discovering a whole new world in her back garden. This world is known as Wonderland...but not as you know it. Apparently, this isn't Alice's first time in Wonderland. After her absense, the Red Queen (Helena Bonham-Carter) has taken over and left the land it dissaray. There is a rebellion against her reign including the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) and the White Queen (Anne Hathaway). Alice now has to fight against the Red Queen's army and bring Wonderland back to the way it was.

The publicity really annoyed me with this film. The main character is Alice NOT THE MAD HATTER! All the adverts and posters focuses on Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. It wasn't even his best role! The other members of the cast were interesting but were ultimately well cast, the bests being Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat and Crispin Glover as the Knave of Hearts. It's one of those films where I know every actor except the lead but it's not really a problem considering that Mia Wasikowska did a good job as Alice.

This film doesn't have Tim Burton's usual dark filter that most of his films have. There is actually colour featured and it looks great. Hell, the whole film looks great! The landscape is really nice looking and the sets amplify. The costume are also well done. Clearly, a lot of effort went into designing this film. You may be wondering what Tim Burton has done in order to make it more morbid...a lot! Considering that one scene shows that the Red Queen's moat is filled with decapitated heads of previous being she had beheaded...lovely. It strangely works and I'm glad he made it a sequel to the story rather than try to change too much.

Alice in Wonderland is an interesting take on the classic story. Sure, it isn't the best film ever but the darker take actually works well with the weird world of Wonderland. The acting is great and characters were very well cast (even though I think Johnny Depp was in it just for star appeal). I do personally prefer the animated Disney version but that's a story for another time. That being said, this one has the Jabberwocky...voiced by Christopher Lee...Mind blown!

A good take on the classic story featuring great acting. The morbid style of Tim Burton strangely works well in this film.

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