Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Should be called Alice in Wonder What the Hell is Going On? I mean, I’m honestly exhausted just thinking about this overdone mess. I make it a point to watch a film in its entirety if I’m going to review it. That means, no walking out, no bathroom breaks, no falling asleep, etc. I give every movie a fair shot. But film’s as bad as this make my loyal movie-going habits very hard to follow.

I’d try to tell you what it’s about, specifically how it deviates from Lewis Carroll’s original story, but I could hardly understand what was being said.

An adult Alice (played by Mia Wasikowska, who was a sheer revelation in HBOs In Treatment) stumbles down a rabbit hole into Wonderland, which is far from wonderful, both visually and cinematically. Somehow, with a consistent wave of incoherence, we figure out that this is actually Alice’s second time in Wonderland, but who cares? What significance does this give? I have no idea, but the characters spend an awful long time talking about it.

I’m not even going to explain the plot any further, because you know for the most part what it’s all about. Let’s focus more on the shallow path Tim Burton’s career has recently gone down. I may get some flack for this, but Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride, Big Fish, Planet of the Apes; they are all bad films. Some way too over-the-top, some overly sentimental; it’s all just… bad.

What happened to the guy that gave us insight into new worlds via Edward Scissorhands, Bettle Juice, and Ed Wood? I want the Tim Burton we all love to come back.

In the meantime we’re stuck with this meandering mess, which I guess the kiddies will enjoy, but really, does it take that much to visually stimulate a 6-year-old? The 3-D effects are lame and never once used to the film’s benefit. Johnny Depp, obnoxiously caked in makeup, is damn near incomprehensible through a bullshit accent. Anne Hathaway looks like the ugly uni-brow chick from Dodgeball, and Helena Bonham Carter, yet again, is just doing her husband a favor.

I tried to cut this Alice in Wonderland a break. But if it looks like shit and sounds like shit, it must be shit. I’ll admit, Wasikowska has an early charm that should take her places. Other than that, this film is a date you can be very very late for. D-

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