I absolutely loved the 1st Alice, which was directed by Tim Burton himself. It brought a feeling of awe and madness and that was very much lacking in this sequel. Well, calling it a sequel isn’t correct because it has absolutely no connection to the 1st one. The characters are there but the story has no motivation. The only thing that really made me happy was listening to Alan Rickman’s voice, one more time.
STORY – Alice has been gone from the Underland as well as from the real land for a long, long time. Things have changed. In the real world, Alice’s ex-fiance has taken over her business and when she comes to know that she is about to lose her medium for adventure, Underland calls her for help. Hatter is distraught and is dying out of grief and Alice must help him. In order to help him, Alice goes to Time himself in order to fix the past and thus mend the present. This could have been an interesting story but the screenplay starts to fall apart after 45 minutes of screen-time. There is no real character motivation and everything seems to fall in the correct place with no real explanation. Like how did Iracebeth meet Time? How did she even return because as far as I remember, she was sent to exile. It was so convenient when Alice falls into the wrong timeline and finds out about the exact things she has to fix. I know it’s a kid’s story but there was no fun in it. Everyone was so weepy and emotional and that brings me to the director.
DIRECTION – So, this one is not directed by Tim Burton. It is directed by James Bobin who has directed the Muppet movies and Ali G. Now that explains a lot. I just don’t understand that why doesn’t a director return for the sequel? I mean, you started it. Just see it through! James Bobin just sucked out the fun. I know the original was cheesy and over-the-top but it was fun. A bit exposition heavy but it added to the character of the Underland. This movie just expected us to assume where something is taking place. Last night I was watching a video about the flaws in BvS and there the Youtuber mentioned that BvS didn’t have a sense of place. Gotham and Metropolis look the same. The characters are kept in close-up so you don’t feel the place they are in and that detaches the audience from feeling anything real. The case here is almost similar. The 1st movie always introduced the place where the characters were entering, due to which I’d know that where the characters are. Here it was just jump, jump and jump.
I don’t want to include a separate section for CGI and editing so I am including it here. The editing wasn’t snappy enough. If you’d remember the tea-party scene in the 1st movie, you’d notice that it was very quick and that made that scene more humorous. Here, they missed a lot of beats and it wasn’t only limited to the tea-party scene but the whole movie. The CGI felt extremely off at times. The lighting was wrong in the opening scene as well as when Alice meets Hatter for the 2nd time.
ACTING – The acting was very bland. They were doing the same thing that they did in the original. Johnny Depp felt a bit off but I won’t blame him. The worst of the lot was Sacha Baron Cohen, who was actually doing a Borat impression the whole time. Again, won’t blame him.
FINAL VERDICT – I hate it when sequels just bank on the success of the 1st one and doesn’t improve on it. What is the rush? Make a proper script, take your time and give us a good movie. If you’ve haven’t seen this one, don’t. Just re-watch the original. This one is certainly not worth your TIME.