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Movie Review: Alice Returns To Underland

On March 5,  the highly anticipated sequel to “Alice in Wonderland,” directed by Tim Burton, was released. The movie takes place 13 years after the release of the original animated film in 1951.

The movie picks up with Alice, (Mia Wasikowska), now 19,  close to succumbing to  social tradition–getting married.  She was brought back to Wonderland, or should I say Underland, again by the White Rabbit, to be champion for the banished White Queen (Anne Hathaway).

There were a few  new changes to this film, such as the introduction of the White queen. It was also revealed that “Underland” is   the proper pronunciation of the place where Alice goes. The new characters and the pronunciations are explained flawlessly throughout the movie.

The film featured Tim Burton’s  signature, with the bright  color schemes and pale faces similar to his older movies (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and  “Edward Scissorhands”).

The scenery is also similar to his “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” set with some overgrown mushrooms.

The casting was superb, Mia Wasikowska  was fabulous as the innocent Alice. I was never a fan of  Helena Bonham Carter, but in this instance, she was magnificently cast as the giant headed, unforgiving Red Queen. Anne Hathaway played the purest of pure White Queen, younger sister of the Red Queen. Hathaway  did a great job, although it seemed as if something was missing  from this character script wise.

Johnny Depp was absolutely amazing as the Mad Hatter. Though I could’ve done without the lisping, everything else was perfect.  I only wished he had more screen time than he did. The use of smoke was perfectly used in transitions and flashbacks. The Cheshire Cat, voiced by Stephen Fry, stole many of  the scenes  he was in.

The ending, however, was a letdown.  First of all, there was some dialogue between Alice and the Mad Hatter that seemed oddly spoken. As the Mad Hatter asked Alice not to leave he hinted at a possible relationship between the two.

Furthermore when the  blue, smoking caterpillar/butterfly (Allen Rickman) from Underland   followed Alice into her world, it left you expecting more.

The ending was set up for a grandiose realization by Alice which would lead to a future that she had never thought of.  Even though you could tell that it was supposed to be the beginning of a great new adventure for Alice it lacked that excitement. Parts of the movie, such as  Alice coming to the rescue of the banished White queen and her rebel followers  seemed like it was written from a disregarded outline for a “Chronicles of Narnia” sequel.

The cast was great but the story lacked the magic that it deserved. It seemed more like  a big budget SyFy channel movie then a feature film.

The movie was not as impressive as it was advertised.

Even though it can be seen in 3-D there aren’t many 3-D elements to the film, in fact the coming attractions were more impressive in this case. If you decide to see this movie you’re better off going in expecting it to be horrible so you’ll feel you got your ten bucks worth just for the acting.

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