Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Rhys Ifans, Matt Lucas, Lindsay Duncan, Leo Bill, Alan Rickman, Geraldine James, and more.
Directed by: James Bobin Screenplay by: Linda Woolverton Based on books by: Lewis Carroll Cinematography by: Stuart Dryburgh Music by: Danny Elfman
Premise: Alice comes home from China to find that things are not as she left them. Stepping through the looking glass, she learns matters aren't any better on the other side. To help the Mad Hatter, she must go back in time and find out what happened to his family. Yet there's more danger in her mission than she realizes. A lot more. (Rated PG)
1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Mia Wasikowska reprises her role as the spunky Alice to good effect. She appears a lot more comfortable with her role than in the first film. Johnny Depp gets to explore some unexpected sides of the Mad Hatter. Leo Bill was fun as the extreme Hamish. Sacha Baron Cohen was fascinating, and fluid, as Time. Helena Bonham Carter was fun as always as chaotic Iracebeth.
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: If you can manage it, try to see this one in 3D or IMAX if at all possible. The special effects will make it totally worth it. From the mad dash of the Wonder through shallow waters to the Chronos Orb eye popping voyage over the seas of time. Lots and lots of amazing sights await.
Especially cool were the Grand Clock and the Chronos Orb itself. The Mad Hatters' transformations from his illness were lovely. Time was amazing! The actor moving here and there and the audience seeing the machinery sticking out from the back of his head. It truly looked like it was a piece of him. Fabulous!
The vegetable people and the clockwork people looked awesome. The upright fish people were also rather interesting.
And if you enjoy the neat, unfolding buildings in the beginning of Game of Thrones, you'll like the cute unfolding little tales during the credits.
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: I enjoyed this second film a lot better than the first. The plot seemed more solid and fascinating. Life on both sides of the looking glass showed different facets of the same problems.
Friendship and family were the main recurring themes. And like the first film, it hints at how a small thing can begin a chain of events that end in unforeseen and even tragic results. Bits of darkness, than in and of themselves don't seem like much, but can fester and grow until they are out of control.
They have some rather cute after moments that run through the credits, too. Like extra bits from after Alice's visit.
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Lots of tumbles, crashing, jumping. A few of the landings from both the Chronos Orb and Time's other machine looked like they hurt! :P
5) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: The period costumes were very nice. And I loved the female captain uniforms. I also thought that Alice's oriental dress was gorgeous. The makeup work on the Mad Hatter was superb, especially as it kept changing. They even used the makeup for some subtext with regards to Iracebeth as well.
Conclusion: Alice Through The Looking Glass is a fun ride with lots of gorgeous special effects. Definitely put the Wonder in Wonderland. :)
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)