Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alice in Wonderland: Less than the sum of its parts

Johnny Depp had the Movie Slut at "Edward Scissorhands." Now, he brings that same wacko sensibility to "Alice in Wonderland," as the Mad Hatter. Who else?
He's joined in the lunatic fun by Helena Bonham Carter as the demented Red Queen, who delivers the line "Off with her head," as if she were in an off-off-off-off Broadway production of "Les Mis." Anne Hathaway rounds off the tipsy triumvirate as the white queen, skating through the role like a drop-out Olympic ice dancer.
The trio play off Alice's strait gal, she of the falling-down-the-rabbit-hole dream. It's easy to forget how terrific Mia Wasikowska is in the role. Please, try to remember.
Her Alice is a liberated 19th-century chick, who flees from the sniveling Lord Somethingorother when he threatens to entrap her in a loveless marriage and pointless existence.
So far so great. Unfortunately this flick, which is based on
Lewis Carroll's, "Wonderland" book, as well as "Through the Looking Glass," is just too noir for its own good. The landscape between the two queens' castles is positively post-apocalyptic, and the colors are murky and muddy. Or was it the Movie Slut's 3D glasses? Don't get her started on that gimmick.

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