Review: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS is About Time

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[Photos courtesy the Disney Alice Facebook page]

Alice_Through_the_Looking_Glass_(film)_posterAlice Through The Looking Glass
Written by Linda Woolverton
Based on the books by Lewis Carroll
Directed by James Bobin
Copyright 2016

Time, time, time. See what’s become of me?

Time: it’s the fire in which we all burn, it’s something we don’t have enough of, it’s what the Doctor travels through, and in Alice Through The Looking Glass, it’s a he. But first, let’s start at the beginning.

We find Alice (Mia Wasikowska) captain of the merchant ship Wonder, on the run from Chinese pirates in the South China Sea. after some quick thinking she saves her ship and crew and they head for home.

Once they arrive, Alice’s mother, Helen (Lindsay Duncan) informs her that Alice’s business partner has died and his son, Hamish (Leo Bill) has taken control. Alice crashes a party thrown for Hamish and discovers that her mother sold her shares and the mortgaged the house to Hamish. If she wants to keep the house, she’ll sign over the ship and go to work as a clerk under Hamish.

Alice balks at this and starts to leave, after ducking into a hallway she hears Absolem (Alan Rickman in his final role) and then sees him fly by. Following him, she seems him vanish into a mirror. After hearing voices demanding she come out, she passes through herself. She emerges into a giant room in Underland.

After falling out of this room, she finds a collection of the characters she meet from her last adventure all huddled around a table: they’re worried about the Hatter; he’s not been his self. She goes to the Hatter and finds that he’s dying from heartache for his dead family. She leaves to find a way back in time to save the Hatter’s family. But first, she must see Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) himself and travel into the Hatter’s past to discover what happened to make him who he is and what happened to his family.

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I initially had reservations about this movie: the reviews haven’t been great and the subsequent box office has been low. But, after seeing it I truly liked it. Sacha Baron Cohen does a great job as the living embodiment of time. The accent, the mannerisms, the jokes: they all work for me.  Johnny Depp’s performance as the Hatter is a bit more subdued then the previous movie, but still just as enjoyable. The rest of the cast just kind of work around Depp and Cohen’s performances.

The plot is a bit of a sticking point if you don’t like time travel movies, which is what this movie is when you get right down to brass tacks. There are even rules for the time travel (you can’t change the past, it’ll always work itself out so that what should have happened will happen, and you can’t see yourself).

The script itself was funny, Sacha does great work as Time.

The real beauty of this movie is Underland itself. The CGI is wonderful: the look of the sets and the wardrobe all just candy for the eyes. I could look at that landscape of Underland forever.

If you liked the first Alice movie, go see it. If you like Johnny Depp, go see it. If you like time puns, go see it.

I give it a solid 4 out of 5.

Alice Through the Looking Glass opened May 27 nationwide. For more information, visit the official website.

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Thomas Townley

Thomas spends hours playing games, reading books and comic books and watching genre tv. You should too.

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