Alice in Wonderland = Mehhh…

March 11, 2010

all images via listal

I saw Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland last week on opening night, and I promised that I’d write up a review afterwards. You guys may well disagree vehemently with me, but this is my brutally honest opinion. I promise I won’t give away any big plot-revealing secrets, though I suppose we all already knew the plot anyhow… Here it is:

I had super high expectations. That was probably problem numero uno right there. With Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway, how could this movie not be epic, right? Right?

Meh – notsomuch, at least in my humble opinion. I felt like there was a ton of potential in the kooky creatures: the cheshire cat, the white rabbit, the hare, the caterpillar, you get the idea. Burton did a great job with the Tweedles and the mad hare (maybe my fave), but really, that’s about it. The animals all made but a very brief appearance in the movie and really left me wanting more. The cheshire cat popped in and out of a few scenes and really just left me hanging.

As for the people creatures, Johnny Depp was w-e-i-r-d as the Mad Hatter, even for Johnny. He tottered back and forth between a loony with a lisp to some sort of militant Scottish fellow. What? Yeah, I don’t know. I did LOVE Helena as the Queen of Hearts. She was adorable, bizarre, and basically just perfect for the part. She gave the movie just about the only spark it really had. Alice seemed rather lifeless throughout; really, I wanted to shake her awake a few times. Anne Hathaway as the White Queen? One word – obnoxious. I really, really like her in her other roles, and this one just got under my skin. She carried herself like some Barbie/fairy princess hybrid, and what’s with the goth lips and nails on this all holy light character?

I guess, like I said, that my disappointment stems from my expectations. Tim and Johnny are just so good that it seemed like this had to be on par with everything else they’ve done. Not so. I thought the SyFy Channel’s Alice was much more creative and better-executed.

Really though, this is just one leetle opinion. What do you chickadees think of the new Alice in Wonderland? Love it? Hate it? Tell me!


  1. ya, i think i feel a lot the same. i watched it last night and then it was oven and i was like “that’s it?” i wasn’t blown away at all and i expected to be telling people “go see this movie!” but i for sure can say i DON’T feel that way…too bad really…

  2. Just saw it tonight in IMAX 3D with my mom. I think this format may have inflated my opinion of it, but I really enjoyed it! I flinched when the Jabberwocky roared right in my face. I suppose Avatar would also have been more lackluster if I hadn’t seen it in IMAX 3D.

    I enjoyed Alice’s dresses and the Red Queen’s acting. I also liked the coming-of-age spin, except for the cheesy catepillar-to-butterfly transformation metaphor at the end. I wanted that blue coat…

  3. Haven’t seen it yet, but I also have very high hopes for this film, I love Johnny Depp and love Tim Burton just as much. I hope I can come away with a different opinion when I actually go, but I can’t help but feel a little bit sad based on your review 🙁


  4. I loved Alice’s outfits. Loved the Mad Hatter character (split personality included). Thought the Red Queen did an excellent job. The Mad Hatter and the Red Queen were the only two characters I felt emotionally vested in. The Red Queen made me hate her and the Mad Hatter tugged on my counseling heart strings (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Dissociative Identity Disorder, anyone?)

    Anne Hathaway sucked it up. Did not like her character. And I agree- what’s up with black lipstick? Alice was a bit blah.

    It was visually pleasing – great use of color.

    I thought the plot drug on and on. Just get to the main fight already. And I thought the main fight was super boring. It was like the animators gave up at that point.

    Overall: Enjoyable but def not epic

  5. no jabbaywocky? cause that thing scared the BEJEBUS out of me, and i was really hoping it would be crazy scary in the movie (which i plan to see sunday)

  6. I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt this too. I saw it and thought the white queen character got ultra annoying really fast and got the same fairy vibe as you did. I also didn’t care for the Alice character. She seemed so bland it was hard to get behind her as the “main character”. The syfy Alice, I thought, was a much more innovative twist.

  7. I actually really liked it, though I was doubtful going in. I liked the Mad Hatter having a sort of split personality and thought it worked well for the character. But I also did really like the SyFy Alice a lot too for different reasons.

  8. I’m so glad you mentioned the SyFy version. That one was is one of my favorites made for tv. Have you watched Tin Man with Zooey Daschanel? It’s the Wizard of Oz but modern.

  9. Many of you have made a really good point. The art/visuals/graphic in the movie were absolutely phenomenal. I got a little too caught up bitching about my disappointment to give credit where credit was due.

    While I thought the movie as a whole was a little too ‘flat’ for my liking, it was really a beautiful setup!

  10. I wholeheartedly agree with you on so many points..I think especially I was left longing for more of that fantastic Cheshire & visually I just wanted more ….hmmm… I guess just more over-the-top-edness.. Yes?

  11. Am a bit gutted really – the visuals are lovely and a treat, but the film itself just lacked a little sumthin’ sumthin.. xx

  12. I loved it! After hearing not so good reviews, I didn’t have high expectations. But I was entertained, and thought they basically did a good job. I’m pretty easy with most movies though. It helped that I saw it at the IMAX in 3D. It felt like I was in the movie!

  13. I haven’t seen it yet. Plan to go tomorrow. I have heard good things and bad things about it. Most reviews I’ve seen have said that, visually it is amazing, but falls short plot wise. While I love Johnny Depp, Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter, I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, I hate disappointment.
    Thanks for sharing your review/opinion 🙂

  14. I’m hoping to take the kids at the weekend. Not really looking forward to it though..

  15. Yeah, I think the worst part was the fleshing out of Depp’s Character…The Scottish thing was like I left to go to the bathroom and came back suddenly watching another movie! Also the animatronic Kid n Play dance at the end…Uhhh Ok?

  16. I have not yet seen the movie, but would love to. I think I’m more enchanted by the prospect of the visuals than the story itself. It surprises me that Anne Hathaway is in the movie, though. This doesn’t really seem to be her “thing.”

  17. I really enjoyed the movie but do agree that the characters had more potential than they really fulfilled. The art in the movie was phenomenal – it seemed to be the acting/character development that was lacking. Like they had the chance to do something great and didn’t quite take it all the way. Still, I’d like to see it again. As an artist I found that scenery and costumes completely inspiring.

  18. Thanks for posting a review of the movie. I have no desire to go see it so I’ll be taking a pass. My 13 year old daughter is going to see it this weekend. She is a huge movie buff–I’ll be interested in hearing her opinion as well.

    Part of me thinks…How many freaking times can you do Alice in Wonderland??…I’m over it.

  19. I gave it the same “meh” rating. I agree with everything you said and I felt it was too cartoon-y. I was expecting more of the Where the Wild Things Are approach when it came to costumes. And I felt like Johnny’s Mad Hatter was the same as Johnny’s Willy Wonka.

    The movie was pretty boring.

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