The opening sequence of Alice Through the Looking Glass, in which Alice captains her ship through shallow waters to evade pirates and rocks, is breathtaking. Our attention is held by the subsequent scenes involving Alice (Mia Wasikowska), her mother (Lindsay Duncan), and the treacherous Ascot family.
Alice’s subsequent return to Wonderland, where she must attempt to turn back time to rescue Hatter’s family, is a cute conceit by writer Linda Woolverton to introduce familiar Lewis Carroll characters, voiced by such luminary actors as Barbara Windsor (Dormouse), Stephen Fry (Cheshire Cat), and the late Alan Rickman (Blue Caterpillar). Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum is particularly endearing. Helen Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway give fine performances as the Red Queen and White Queen respectively. Johnny Depp’s lisping Hatter is appropriately mad, while Sacha Baron Cohen’s portrayal of Time is inspired.
Unfortunately, the film is overly padded with computer-generated images as Alice navigates a “chronosphere” through time in her quest to restore order to the universe. Not only do these seemingly interminable scenes have a soporific effect on the audience, they make the already complicated and fanciful narrative seem even more so.
Director James Bobin and his cast do a sterling job of bringing beloved characters to the screen but it is unclear which age group this film targets as its audience.
Curiouser and curiouser ...