This is Tim Burton's most successful movie, financially. However I will go as far to say that this is probably one of his worst movies and actually I always have been quite a big fan of Burton and his unique and unusual visions, ideas and style of film-making.

This is not your average or traditional Alice in Wonderland movie. First of it it's featuring an adult Alice and the story doesn't really seem to be following any of the Lewis Carroll books. It's more like a mixture of different Alice stories thrown together, with Burton's special touch and vision blend in as well. It actually sounds like a great combination; Tim Burton and Alice in Wonderland but the end result is disappointing, in about every way thinkable.

First of all the visuals; Now, I have always been a big fan of the look of Tim Burton movies but however the thing that seems to be the case with his most recent movies is that he's using way too many special effects to enhance the movie its visual look and go even more over-the-top with all of it. Well, enhance is not really the word I would use to describe it though. It's way too artificial looking for my taste. Not only just the world and its backgrounds but also all of its CGI characters and CGI altered ones. Now granted the effects for the Red Queen were pretty awesome and fun but that brings me to the perhaps true problem of its special effects; they are all very uneven. For every good and awesome looking scene there is something very bad and disappointing looking as well. I especially wasn't too fond or impressed with any of the movie its exterior shots, that all too obviously got shot indoors, in front of a green screen.

Also the story really wasn't anything impressive. Stuff just seemed to happen very randomly in the movie and characters literally pop up out of nowhere, who in the end hardly serve any purpose for the story at all. They only show up because they are familiar characters that everybody knows from the Lewis Carroll books but really, no one ever does anything that interesting in this movie. I don't even know why Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter was in this.

There just is no real point to the story. What exactly was the 'conflict'? It's not like there was a big mystery that needed to get resolved, or Alice was desperate to find a way back home, or a kingdom that needed to be saved from an evil queen. They wanted to still go for this approach perhaps but they simply failed at making the Red Queen come across like a tyrant, that was a danger and big threat to its fantasy world and all those living in it.

The story is basically a huge waste of a potentially fine and fun movie and also definitely a waste of such a fine cast. The movie is really filled with some great and well known actors but most of them hardly get to do anything in this movie at all. Perhaps the only persons who still manage to do something good or fun with their roles are Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter. No, not even Johnny Depp really manages to do anything good or fun with his character.

But this all really wasn't the biggest problem I had with this movie. Thing that was mostly disappointing was how it seemed to totally forgot to be an entertaining movie. I was amazed at how dialog filled the movie was and 45 minutes in I realized that nothing had even really happened in the movie. Yes, I was more bored than entertained by this movie. I just can't forgive the movie for that. How can you make an Alice in Wonderland movie and not make it a fun or entertaining one to watch?

A boring, over-stylized, modern fairytale, that totally forgets how to be fun or entertaining.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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