Alice is all grown up now. She had travelled the world, fought pirates and seen China. But on her return to England she faces financial ruin at the hands of the man she refused to marry. What is the best solution to problems if not to escape to her inner world, her Wonderland? Especially now, when her truest friend Mad Hatter had fallen sick. The only way to save him is to turn back time. Time is a villain in this story. Or is he?
Referencing the original books by Lewis Carrol, the latest instalment of this Disney franchise is an odd blend of fantasy and realism. But what seemed like a lucky experiment in the first movie, turns messy in the sequel. The real problem of Alice Through The Looking Glass is that it does not really have a plot. The new screenplay by Linda Woolverton, who penned the original, suffers from over explaining. We are given the "origin" story of the Hatter and of the Red Queen, which takes away some of their magic, and the crazy world of Wonderland is downgraded to something very similar to our own.
The original Alice movie was full of symbolism. The dragon slaying scene in the end of it seemed like the odd choice, however it represented the coming of age for our heroine, "no dragons left to slain" so to speak. The feministic message there was subtle and meaningful. In the sequel the preaching about "how past cannot be changed" and how "the only way to move forward is to learn from the mistakes we have made", is shoved down our throat with such force we are risking a violent heartburn.
The respected cast is marching effortlessly through this "nothing" movie, but the only one inspiring performance here is from Sacha Baron Cohen, who had created a magnificent and likeable villain with a type of effortlessness that only comes from hard work.
The 3D transcoding of the film is sloppy, without much depth, just like the overall meaning of this cinematic affair. It's a shame that such a hard work from so many people end up bringing an average result. Hopefully Disney will follow its own advice - you have to learn from the past. This movie franchise has to be let go!