ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
Back to Blunderland
released 19 september 2016 | pG | blu-ray 3d/blu-ray/dVd/ download Director James bobin Cast mia Wasikowska, Johnny depp, Helena bonham Carter, sacha baron Cohen, anne Hathaway
Why did audiences flock to Tim Burton’s terrible Alice In Wonderland but desert its sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass? Was it the six-year space in-between films? Was it new, relatively unknown director James Bobin? Or was it simply a case of “once bitten, twice shy”? Whatever the reason, Looking Glass is the better film, but it’s a ground-grazingly low bar.
Picking up several years after Mia Wasikowska’s Alice’s last trip, it sees her return to Wonderland marred by the fact that the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is dying. This, apparently, is not a good thing, and the only way to save him is to enlist the help of Time – personified here by the film’s saving grace, Sacha Baron Cohen.
Cohen is just what Wonderland needed. He’s eccentric; he’s funny; he has a Werner Herzog accent, for some reason. He sticks out in a cast that, for all their talents, are still lumbered with playing irritating simpletons. For Cohen and Bobin – who previously collaborated on Da Ali G Show – are the new jarring with the old. Visually, Time’s clockwork castle – an imaginative, gothic triumph – is far superior to the garish, CGI Wonderland. Sadly it’s the old, with its hollow dialogue and nonsensical plot, that ends up suffocating everything.
Extras On DVD: a four-minute featurette on the costumes. The Blu-ray adds commentary from James Bobin, ten deleted scenes, and about 25 minutes’ more bits and bobs. Stephen Kelly
Cohen is the saving grace
During a scene where Alice travels through a time vortex, the music briefly nods to the Doctor Who theme tune.
“Please don’t write on this in blood.”