Alice Through the Looking Glass
The first Alice in Wonderland from 2010 was a work of beautiful nonsense, light on plot and uneven in the acting department, that just happened to score big at the box office. This follow up film reunites all of the cast members from the original for a spectacular feast for the eyes that, like its predecessor, is still pretty light on plot and uneven in the acting department.
The story: Alice, now a valiant sea captain, finds herself being brought back to Underland where she is given a fairly simple task: make the Hatter feel better. Alice laments that such a thing is impossible (since the Hatter wants to see his family who were killed by the Jabberwocky), but in Underland nothing is impossible, and so Alice goes on a quest to change history, beginning with a visit to the clockwork castle of Time itself to steal something called a chronosphere which will allow her to travel through time. But, as she quickly learns, helping the Hatter may cause more harm than good.
I genuinely loved the visual style and the manic characters, but the script tries to do too much, sandwiching an origin story for the Red Queen in between all of the Hatter’s personal issues and the greater danger Alice’s actions pose to all of Underland. There’s the potential for about three different fantastic stories here, but it’s muddied by squashing them all together. I liked the character of Time since he’s much more than a traditional antagonist (in many ways, he’s the hero) and Sacha Baron Cohen has a lot of fun with the character, but he does sort of get drowned out by everything else.
It’s a fluffy diversion, but needs to either have more nonsense or more coherence to really be a satisfying movie-going experience.