In Brief: Things are rather foggy on the other side of the looking glass.
Mia Wasikowska reprises her role as Alice in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Johnny Depp returns as the Mad Hatter and Helena Bonham-Carter and Anne Hathaway are the Red and White queens.
New to the cast is Sasha Baron Cohen as Time.
Alice is now a ship captain. She returns to port to find out she no longer owns her ship and that her former beau is now a snobby Lord. Frustrated and nearly in tears, Alice is led to a mirror where she falls through and learns her best bud the Mad Hatter is depressed to the point of death. He thinks his long-dead family is still alive. So Alice sneaks into the universal clock that runs time, tricks Time and steals the heart of time, the Chronosphere. She uses it to travel through time’s seas to keep Hatter’s family from being killed.
Most of the cast from Tim Burton’s 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland returns for the sequel. Burton — who produces — does not return as the director. That task is turned over to James Bobin who did the two recent Muppet movies.
He’s competent and pretty much copies Burton’s original. The effects in this one are stunning and Bobin uses them liberally. But with a plot as thin as that provided by original film writer Linda Woolverton’s anemic script, he’s pretty much forced to overuse them.
In 2D or 2, this is paint-by-numbers Disney. And like this week’s other blockbuster, X-Men: Apocalypse, Alice is missing an important key ingredient. Fun.
Director: James Bobin
Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham-Carter, Sasha Baron Cohen, Rhys Ifans, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Crispen Glover, Christopher Lee
Rated PG for mature themes. Things are rather foggy on the other side of the looking glass. Alice needs to be more fun. Give it a 2 on Average Joe’s 0 to 5 scale.
Click here for showtimes and theaters.
5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.
Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 25-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.
Got a movie suggestion or comment? Email him!