Alice Through the Looking Glass Falls Short of Expectations

Alice Through the Looking Glass Falls Short of Expectations

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Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, released in theaters nationwide on May 27, could have been great. And it should have been.

After all, it features the beloved characters from Lewis Carroll’s legendary stories, and Johnny Depp stars in it, too. But this sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland , directed by relative newcomer James Bobin (The Muppets), has little to do with Carroll, as noted by New York Times critic, Stephen Holden. Instead, Stephen says it’s “overly cluttered” and an “excuse on which to hang two trite overbearing fables and one amusing one.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Tirdad Derakhshani sums it up as a “dull, formulaic theme-park ride whose only purpose is to make more pots of money.”

Even the stellar cast, which includes most of the original actors — Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter, Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen and Helena Bonham Carter as the always-angry Red Queen — and the addition of Sacha Baron Cohen as Time, can’t save the script from its interminable boredom.

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that if you see it, be prepared to “lean forward in your seat just to stay awake.”

“It’s bloated, boring and over-laden with special effects,” he writes. “If you listen really closely, you can hear the sound of Lewis Carroll in the next world, throwing up.”

While it doesn’t sound like there can be anything positive gleaned from this one, Mick does say that Johnny is the most interesting part about it, so perhaps the actor’s fans will find something to enjoy. The problem is, he notes, the “screenwriters try to hang the entire story on Alice’s friendship with the Hatter (Depp).”

You have to dig deep into Rotten Tomatoes, which currently gives it a “rotten rating” of 30%, to find the positive reviews for the film. Finally, like searching for the veritable needle in the haystack, there is a review written by Australia’s Leigh Paatsch, who writes, “There is a pleasurable zip and zing to Through the Looking Glass that marks it out as fine escapist fare for children.”

Unfortunately, for us bigger kids, that’s not exactly what we were hoping for.