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Lost Somewhere Between Hell & Wonderland

It took almost four weeks for me to make it out to a theater to see Tim Burton’sAlice in Wonderland.” Despite trying my hardest to not have my mind made up about movies before I see them, it was tough to think that Burton, Johnny Depp and an all star cast could screw up a classic Disney movie. Turns out I was wrong.

I walked out of the theater making a noise that can only be described by using the word “ehh.” The movie was so close to being good and in turn, failed miserably. Throughout the entire movie, I was rooting for it. I wanted it to get better, I wanted to fall in love with it. I’ve never spent so much internal emotion in forcing myself to love something. It was all for nothing.

When the credits rolled, it was disappointment and shock. Going in, my thought was that Burton and Depp would team up and make this classic story into a dark, scary version of the original wonderland. In a manner of speaking, I wanted the PG-13 or R rated versions. What we were left with was a PG rating and a perfectly good story without any meaning. Depp was boring as the Mad Hatter and Anne Hathaway was bland as the White Queen. What makes things worse is how close these characters were to being great. Instead, they were left as unripened fruit, wasting incredible acting on another bad remake.

Helena Bonham Carter gave one of the only passable performances

There were three characters that worked in the movie. Helena Bonham Carter was brilliant as the Red Queen. Although her lines were made up of mostly “off with his/her head,” it worked for her. Very few women play evil as good as Carter (Tilda Swinton being the only other that comes to mind). A great piece of voice acting came from the great Alan Rickman, playing the roll of the Blue Caterpillar. Rickman’s dark ominous style is the exact brand this movie should of carried.

Finally, there’s Alice. I had a tough time coming up with words to describe Mia Wasikowska. She was likable and her awesome accent is identical to Emma Watson’s in the “Harry Potter” series. Despite rooting for her throughout the entire movie, when it came time for her to make her last stand as a real adult in the real world, I couldn’t of cared less. Once again, this was a performance that was so close to being great, but fell short.

Overall, the movie was borderline unwatchable. A mashup of boring scenes, thrown together in an hour and a half movie that was causing constant looks at my phone by the midway point. After a magical remake of “Sweeney Todd” I thought that Burton and Depp had put the chocolate factory behind them and were ready to make a dark children’s story, just a little darker. Unfortunately the only darkness you’ll find in “Alice in Wonderland” comes on the backside of your eyelids.

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