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My memory of 2010's Alice in Wonderland was that it was a bombastic mess, redeemed only by some clever performances.
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
Director: James Bobin
Cast: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Rhys Ifans, Matt Lucas, Lindsay Duncan, Leo Bill, Geraldine James, Andrew Scott, Richard Armitage, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall
One star (out of five)
I knew that in the sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass (Rialto and Reading), all pretensions of sticking to the source material had been ditched.
I had my fingers crossed for beloved characters being given a bewitching adventure and the opening sequence held much promise: Alice (Mia Wasikowska), captaining her father's ship, The Wonder, is able to outrun pirates using her wits and courage.
What could go wrong for this emboldened girl-power Alice?
But all too soon Alice is back in London where gender politics are weighted in favour of the male.
It seems the only thing for a girl to do is step through a magic mirror and re-enter Wonderland.
Getting back to Wonderland should be the start of the good times but the Hatter (Johnny Depp) is feeling peaky and Alice is quickly on a quest to find his family.
From that point on Alice Through the Looking Glass flounders in the quagmire of its own lack of invention.
If you are going to throw out Lewis Carroll's plot you had better have something pretty stunning to replace it with, but all we get is a mish-mash of other fantasy films.
What an achievement to take Carroll's magical creation and produce boredom.
Please forget this film and read the books.
- Christine Powley