Where to begin? I’m actually still digesting the craziness that I saw. As seen with Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Tim Burton has the tendency to take something so light and turn it into dark material. He may have went overboard with Alice In Wonderland. Disney may have sweetened the old tale but Burton definitely dimmed the lights for the remake, causing the original written story to be as confused as a young boy approaching puberty.
If you are not up to date on the original story of Alice, first, shame on you and second, the tale is about the bridge between fantasy and reality, which in turn, is about growing into adulthood. Young Alice follows a time concerned white rabbit down a long tunnel of confusion. She enters a world of wonder and fantasy where she meets a host of ridiculous characters, the most famous being the disappearing cat and the Mad Hatter. The Queen catches Alice tampering with her flowers and Alice is forced to trial, ultimately being sentenced to a beheading. Of course this is a children’s tale so Alice escapes without a scratch.
Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland takes place some years later while Alice is at the tender age of 19. Did that sound right? Anyway. Alice runs away from a forced engagement and again, follows the white rabbit down the dark tunnel. Only this time, Wonderland is a dark and destroyed world. Everyone is waiting on Alice’s return to see her face this evil dragon, alien looking creature that the Red Queen used to gain control of her dominions. Alice, played by Mia Wasikowska, spends the bulk of the film trying to convince the characters that she’s not the right Alice. In Burton’s mind, his story follows up the original in time and activities. Excuse me if I’m wrong, but if I had a dream like Alice had in the original, there’s no way I’m forgetting meeting two bumbling obese twins, a living dodo bird, a deranged Hare and dwarf of a man with a large hat spilling more tea than the Bostonians in 1773, and a woman shorter than I trying to off my head. That’s just me. In Burton’s version, Alice can’t remember a single detail about this world until…of course, the end when she has to step up her game. A bunch of crud. None of the characters are happy. In fact, everyone is depressed and even more deranged. Most of my laughs came from everything being too weird and my screening partner’s slick commentary on certain elements. I know this is supposed to be a fantasy but I hate…hate…HATE movies where a person is unbelievably different in the end from the beginning. Example: If you are a pritzy 19 year-old girl that’s intimidated by just even saying no to a proposal in the beginning, yet in the end, you’re Xena warrior swinging swords and chopping up dragons, I HATE you. WACK!
The story is WACK! She’s on a mission the second she touches base in Wonderland. I mean can I eat a coconut first. I see water in the distance. Can I check out the beach first. You mean to tell me that I just got here and already, you need me to go to war? Oh hell no. Where’s a ladder? I’m climbing back up that tunnel, baby. Cut me if I’m wrong, but was the Mad Hatter that important in the original? I don’t recall that tea party being so enjoyable that the Mad Hatter considers Alice like family. Burton’s version is just another Johnnie Depp vehicle for him to capitalize on another sociopath role. Even though that’s true, Depp is probably the most enjoyable thing of this film. Actually, I liked the Red Queen too. Anne Hathaway plays the role of the White Queen but she looks more or less like she’s gliding from doing heroin the entire film. Everyone in the film adores her. Why? She looks like she needs some mental help. That’s it. I’m not going to waste too much time on this matter. I won’t lie, seeing Alice In Wonderland in 3-D was an interesting experience but Avatar in 3-D was much more satisfying. This was like watching an acid trip in a South American rainforest. Let me just take care of this for you. Men: if your girlfriend doesn’t bring it up or your children aren’t pulling your leg off, you better not be seen there. Women: If you have good jobs, are on a girls’ night out and have smoked some weed, do what you do. Couples: If you have had an argument and need to ease the tension, go out for drinks, definitely go see the movie to laugh, go home and have the most amazing sex. That’s that. I’ve spoken. The Black Ebert signing off. PEACE!