Alice Through The Looking Glass is a visually mesmerising film. James Bobin’s film lacks the fizz of Lewis Carroll’s original novel, but is entertaining nevertheless.
After adventures at sea, Alice makes an unexpected return to Wonderland. One of her treasured friends is in danger, Alice must acquire a device from the Lord of Time in order to put things right…
Screenwriter Linda Woolverton takes a different tact from Carroll’s novel with this sequel. Ardent fans of the book may not be pleased with this, but a traditional adaptation may not have worked well in feature-film format. Alice Through The Looking Glass functions well to provide a sense of adventure and peril.
Where the film falters is with its tone. Director James Bobin’s film misses the zaniness of the books, and indeed the first film. In its place, Alice Through The Looking Glass focuses on a more emotional idea. If this was another narrative, this would not necessarily have been an issue. For the Alice in Wonderland sphere however, this misses the absurdity of the source material which is so appealing. Less sentimentality and more off-beat action would have made the film more satisfying.
The new character of Lord of Time is a welcome addition to Alice Through The Looking Glass. Elsewhere, characters remain much the same as the first film. The Alice that returns to Wonderland is a much more mature and aware protagonist. This works well given the plot; there is less a sense of awe and more determination to complete her mission.
Sasha Baron Cohen delivers a jovial performance as Lord of Time. Mia Wasikowska reprises her role well, whilst Johnny Depp does his usual over the top schtick. Art direction in the film is fantastic.
Whilst the visuals certainly meet expectations, Alice Through The Looking Glass would have benefitted from more zaniness and less sentimentality. Notwithstanding, the film is perfectly enjoyable for those looking for adventure.