04 March 2010
Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton, 2010)
I got a chance to see the new Tim Burton update of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at the IMAX at Navy Pier in Chicago tonight. I have to say I tend to agree with the reviews I've read that characterized it as a letdown because it certainly was for me. I mean, apart from the Cheshire Cat, which was enchanting, and the Dormouse, which was cute. The real world story was dull and the "Underland" story was uninspired. It almost seems like the writer and the director were bored, as though they had been there to pick up a check, though I doubt that's the case. Perhaps they were too distracted by the technology and the mise-en-scène. The Mad Hatter is definitely sympathetic here but it's just kind of blandly weird. It sort of reminded me of Harry Potter goofiness but less entertaining. I love Helene Bonham Carter but not in this movie. I didn't know she could be boring but in this movie I just didn't care. I also thought it was a very strange choice to cast dog-faced Anne Hathaway as the beautiful White Queen. Um, excuse me? She makes a good junkie but she was so wrong for this part it's unreal. And what is up with this movie tying beauty to goodness? I sort of thought Tim Burton might be above that sort of thing. It was all right, I suppose. I mean, the visuals keep you watching. It's just that the story is so bland. I feel like the critics of Avatar should take their knee-jerk contrariness and see this movie. I think the comparison highlights a lot of what Avatar did right. That Cheshire Cat deserved a better movie! C/C-
Edit- I don't know how I could have forgotten to mention that horrible Avril Lavigne song at the end credits. The movie was not strong enough to withstand the weight of that awful song being the last thing you remember...