For the five people that loved Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” Disney decides to give us yet another take on Lewis Carroll’s tale, as Alice ventures in to Wonderland to travel through time. And literally tries out run it as she experiences the oncoming specter of adulthood and hard decisions rearing its ugly head at her. Stepping in for Burton this time is James Bobin, who manages to assemble virtually the entire cast from the first film to tell what is essentially a very convoluted and incredibly tedious movie. Truthfully, director Bobin’s film isn’t as bad as Burton’s first film, but Bobin spends so much time trying to Burtonize his sequel, he forgets to inject any kind of entertainment in to the nearly two hour drama adventure.
Seriously, Bobin and Disney try so hard to ape Burton that they even cast Sasha Baron Cohen as the film’s antagonist who really isn’t an antagonist so much as a sentient being who is the only character that doesn’t whine or mope. Years after the original tale, Alice is now a sea captain for a huge boat named “The Wonder,” which she uses to travel the world and honor her father’s memory. When she returns after three years venturing around the world, she’s shocked to learn how much things have changed. Not only have a lot of the people moved on, her mother is pushed in to a corner, forced to make a hard decision involving their home and their beautiful boat. What’s worse, the person making their lives difficult is Alice’s old fiancé, who is now a very powerful businessman who is delighting in spiting Alice for her dumping him.
Even after three years of exploration, Alice is still a whiny and selfish young girl who finds her mother’s actions involving possibly selling their boat for the sake of their home, incredibly cowardly. Just then she’s called upon by her friends in Wonderland to help save the Mad Hatter. His madness has faded, sinking in to deep sadness, and he’s dying from despair over the loss of his family years prior. Alice soon ventures out in to the center of reality, sneaking past the embodiment of Time. She then steals his time machine, the Chronosphere and begins looking for a way to restore the safety of Mad Hatter’s family. From there she begins finding out the origins of various characters from Wonderland, and can never seem to grasp that everything in the concept of time serves a purpose and in her reality, things happen for a reason. Sadly the reasons for most of our characters’ lives are nothing but goofy melodrama involving daddy complexes.
Every character has lost their father or spends a good amount of time seeking approval from their father. Alice’s journey is dull and overlong, Mad Hatter’s plight is low stakes, and the reasoning for the Red Queen being so murderous and rotten is shockingly trivial. Bobin fills the screen with a ton of excellent CGI, but none of it ever amounts to fun, or awe inspiring action. Alice still never quite feels like a heroine, so much as a petulant child still unwilling to accept fate, even in the very end of the story. Tim Burton’s iteration of “Alice in Wonderland” was a disaster, and James Bobin’s follow up is a colossal waste of time that never quite musters up any enthusiasm or depth in its duration.
The combo pack from Disney features a DVD copy and Digital copy voucher. “Behind the Looking Glass” is a nine minute walk through of the story and Alice’s history on page and screen. There’s also looks at Tim Burton’s involvement, and returning cast and characters. “A Stitch in Time: Costuming Wonderland” is a nearly five minute look at the costumes with costume designer Colleen Atwood. “Characters of Underland” is a nearly five minute examination of the supporting characters in the story. “Time On…” is a nearly two minute talk with “Time” who shares his thoughts on the movie. “Alice Goes Through the Looking Glass: A Scene Peeler” is a two and a half minute look at a key scene with an introduction from director James Bobin.
“Alice Goes Through Time’s Castle: A Scene Peeler” is a minute and a half look at another key scene with an introduction from Bobin. There’s a music video from artist Pink entitled “Just Like Fire,” as well as a three minute behind the scenes look at the making of the music video. There’s an audio commentary with director James Bobin who discusses the film, the technical details behind the film, story details, and more. It’s a fun and informative commentary for fans. Finally, there’s a selection of deleted scenes clocking in at almost nine minutes including “Alice’s Bedroom and the Rabbit Hole,” “Alice Tackles Hamish,” “Time Comforts Racie in the Sitting Room,” “Racie in the Castle,” and “Time Can’t Follow Alice.” They come with optional commentary from director James Bobin.