Alice Through the Looking Glass

Out Now On-Demand

Following 2010’s Alice in Wonderland from Tim Burton, this sequel sees Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returning to the world of Underland to travel back in time to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway return, starring alongside new faces Rhys Ifans as the Mad Hatter’s father and Sacha Baron Cohen as Time himself. From the director of 2011’s The Muppets (and much of TV's Flight of the Conchords).

Alice Kingsleigh has spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland and her friends the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen), Absolem (Alan Rickman), the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) and the Mad Hatter, who is not himself. The Hatter has lost his Muchness, so Mirana (Hathaway) sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the chamber of the Grand Clock which powers all time. Returning to the past, she comes across friends – and enemies – at different points in their lives, and embarks on a perilous race to save the Hatter before time runs out.

Trailers

Directed by

Written by

Adventure, Kids & Family, Fantasy, Blockbuster

112mins

Rating: PG Some scenes may scare very young children

USA

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to pronounce their undying love for Tim Burton's 2010 adaptation of Alice In Wonderland, but the film made over a billion dollars at the global box office, so here we are.

Alice and the Commercially Mandated Sequel asserts itself as a large scale blockbuster in its thrilling opening scene - an epic ocean-bound set-piece that wouldn't be out of place in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Much of what follows lives up to the impressive visual splendour of this opening gambit, but only occasionally recaptures its tension or stakes.

Plenty of effort has been made to lend the main characters some contemporary motivation, which is nice in theory, but somewhat out of step with the surreal setting. Revealing that the Red Queen's (Helena Bonham Carter) abnormally-large head is the result of swelling from a childhood accident introduces an element of 'real world' consequences that doesn't sit well with the nonsensical whimsy that drives Wonderland.

Nevertheless, Carter is a joy to behold in all her scenes, as is new addition Sacha Baron Cohen as Time, who makes a meal out of his relentlessly punny dialogue. It's more fun spending time with these characters than it is with Johnny Depp's ceaselessly annoying Hatter, who is thankfully somewhat de-emphasised here compared to the first film.

Mia Wasikowska's Alice also benefits from being something of an action heroine this time around, more responsible for driving her own fate. Her outfits are pretty awesome too.

Indeed, despite the issues mentioned earlier in this review, Alice Through The Looking Glass is perhaps a more enjoyable and cohesive film than its ephemeral predecessor. Which isn't saying a huge amount, but still...

Entertainment Weekly (USA)

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For better or worse, Looking Glass loses none of the first film’s muchness...

Total Film (UK)

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Bobin’s attempt to fill Tim Burton’s shoes generates a lively but ersatz sequel that only truly ticks when Baron Cohen and Bonham Carter are around.

Guardian (UK)

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The studio has managed to deliver a follow-up that’s even weaker than its predecessor.

Variety (USA)

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The problem with “Alice” is its lack of narrative imagination.

Hollywood Reporter

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Struggles to infuse make-believe with emotion.

Empire (UK)

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While this is a better film than the first, that was a low bar to reach.

Time Out London

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The film’s pace barely leaves you time to think – blink and you’ll lose the plot.

Herald Sun (Australia)

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There is a pleasurable zip and zing to Through the Looking Glass that marks it out as fine escapist fare for children.

FilmInk (Australia)

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There are just too many things going on.

Alice Through The Looking Glass

I enjoyed the movie,probably not as much as the first but liked seeing most of the same characters and it did tie in with the first