The Review: It’s amazing how long it’s been since Tim Burton made a live action feature film based entirely on an original idea. Some of his efforts of the last decade have been spectacular, and some abysmal. But what he really works best with is a cast of odd characters and licence to allow his imagination to run riot.
Such a disappointment, then, that his Alice turns out to be a homogenised, Disneyfied version of Lewis Carroll’s classic book. Much of the fault lies in the script, which picks up only odd elements of the two Alice books, then builds them around a conventional narrative and uses Alice’s experiences in ‘Underland’ to act as a representation of her underplayed real life dilemmas. It all finishes off with a ‘Lord of the Rings’ style tacked-on ending, and evrything feels too conventional to truly excite.
The characters are all one dimensional, except in the visual sense, but that’s how they’re supposed to be. Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp get to add in a few subtle shades, but this is more about the third dimension, and another worrying example of the trend to 3D movies with shallow and unfulfilling storytelling.
Why see it at the cinema: Despite the 3D being largely pointless, it is well done, and currently the only way to see this properly is on a big screen.
The Score: 5/10