Alice in Wonderland (2010) Review

Alice is now 19 years old and returns to Wonderland but has no memory of the place or anyone, will it all come back to her in the end? Will she fulfill her destiny and end the Red Queen’s reign of terror. She reunites with all of the characters from her childhood adventure which she believed was a dream. Could the Mad Hatter convince her that it was not a dream and in fact real?

After my build up blog post I made a few days ago it made me more excited to see this film and I think that did not help my expectations of this film. I went to see it last night and was very disappointed with it all. I have a feeling I am going to struggle to make much sense of it to write this review as I just feel it was really missing something. I will start with the 3D aspect which I thought was pretty pointless so far not really showing why it is the way forward for cinema. I found that some of the effects were mainly in because it was in 3D the usual of objects flying out of the screen.

I really did not like this film at all – easier just to come out and say it rather than blab on for a few hundred words to come to that conclusion. Now I just have to figure out how to explain why I did not like the film . . . I guess it was just kinda all over the place and couldn’t really grasp the main points of the film. The main thing I wanted to see and I am sure everyone else wanted to see as well and that was Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. But you had to wait a while for that to happen and he wasnt as crazy as I was expecting him to be. Every now and then he would start speaking in a Scottish accent which I couldn’t really understand why, I mean either totally speak in a Scottish accent for the whole role or not at all. It just did not make any sense for him to do that. The dance at the end was more stupid than funny or even silly.

Mia Wasikowska as Alice rather annoyed me as well she was too expressionless and emotionless for my liking. I wanted to see more from her, so that we could really care about what happened to her throughout the film. I think that’s important for this type of film. Anne Hathaway as the White Queen also annoyed me in the way she had to float around with her hand in the air. I felt she was wasted in that role as did not really have very much to do. Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen liked to shout a lot especially “off with their heads” and her head did look amusing as it was supposed to be massively miss shaped.

But it really was just missing something to really make you care about the characters. Even for a Tim Burton film it was not as crazy, random and wacky as we have grown to expect. I did like some of the jabberish lines mainly from Tweedledee and Tweedledum which amused me. Lewis Carroll was well known for Jabberwocky and creating a random language. More of that would have been better for me. It wasn’t actually as dark as I was expecting it to be.

Was making Alice 19 years old a good or a bad thing though? At times something was suggested coming from the Mad Hatter towards Alice did anyone else think that too? I found it a little strange and was trying not to think it but I felt it was implied. Especially when he asked her to stay.

How would you have made this film?

Did you enjoy it?

Did it change your opinions on 3D films for better or worse?

14 thoughts on “Alice in Wonderland (2010) Review

    • Yeah it’s such a shame when your looking forward to it. I also find if I am not too bothered about seeing some films I often enjoy them more than expected.

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  1. Yeah, I’m with you on the not-sure-what-to-make-of-it bit. I was exciting going in too. For me, it just felt a little bit too Lord of the Rings, if you know what I mean. All the whimsy that came from simply rambling around Wonderland was gone, replaced with a “she’s the chosen one” narrative.

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    • Yeah it kept going back to that and after 5 minutes it became rather annoying. I also couldn’t help think of a song involving the name Alice with the amount of times they mentioned her name, which kind of left me rather amused.

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  2. “Was making Alice 19 years old a good or a bad thing though? At times something was suggested coming from the Mad Hatter towards Alice did anyone else think that too? I found it a little strange and was trying not to think it but I felt it was implied. Especially when he asked her to stay.”

    – The group of 6 years old I was sitting next to sure picked up on that. In that shot when he asks her to stay and they share a much too long silence they chanted, “kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss!”

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  3. I thought it was really cute. Helena cracked me up; I loved her. And I thought the relationship between the Hatter and Alice was nothing like a love type scenario. Not at all. It was much more friendly. I thought him asking her to stay was sweet not ‘implied.’ She was really the only good friend he had. Well, good and sane friend I should say lol.

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  4. I just saw the movie and I disagree with most of the things that you said in your review. As an avid fan of the book since childhood, I think that you need to be very familiar with the original story to enjoy this movie. After reading so many terrible reviews, I think the movie has been incredibly underrated due to the simple fact that it’s brilliance is rarely appreciated by an audience who’ve never so much as opened the book and have based their expectations entirely on the fact that either: a) It is a Tim Burton movie and/or it is in 3D b) Johnny Depp is in it or c) They think Alice should be the same girl as she was in the Disney cartoon version.
    In my experience, the reactions to the movie are very similar to the reactions I’ve gotten all of my life when I told people that Alice in Wonderland was my favorite book: “It’s so weird” (or creepy, crazy, scary, etc.), “It doesn’t make sense”, or “You have to be on drugs to like that”. With that being said, I loved that the movie was very similar to the book both in style and content, so therefore if you didn’t like the book, you probably won’t care for this movie and, if you haven’t read it at all, you’ll most likely be even more confused.
    The book, written by Lewis Carroll, was meant to entertain children but is also laced with adult humor that mocks Victorian society and government. With that in mind, I had to wonder if the 2010 version held similar subtle references to our own government in America today. I began to see the Red Queen as the stereotypical Republican: a fan of corporal punishment, having a “big head” (arrogant), cruel to animals (according to PETA), and quick to go to war. The White Queen, on the other hand, reminded me of the model Democrat with her beliefs that everyone should be treated equally, her Utopian ideals, and her belief that Alice has “a right to choose for herself”. There was also the passing of the crown from the Red Queen, who had been a “tyrant” for a long time, to the White Queen, with each ruler having her own “army” behind them. A reference to the change of power between Bush and Obama, perhaps? If Carroll was mocking the society his lived in, Burton could have easily done the same.
    Johnny Depp has made no secret regarding his disdain for America’s government, among other things. It is beyond my comprehension how so many Americans can worship a man who openly spews hatred for the country he was born in, the Land of Opportunity, not to mention the land that made him a movie star and a multi-millionaire and dislikes it so much that he chooses to reside in another country. With that being said, I have to admit that, although anti-American, he is an amazing actor and, in my opinion, played the Mad Hatter exactly as the book portrays him, MAD! How can someone complain about a character’s strange or ever-changing accent, weird behavior, and spontaneous dance moves when the first part of his name is synonymous with “crazy”? What I loved the most about Depp’s work was that, unlike the character in the book, this Hatter showed a sensitive side through his subtle affection towards Alice through his desire to defend her as well as his fear that she would not remember him after she went home. I didn’t pick up on any hint of romance between the two; perhaps it is just hard to not view the actor as the sexy heartthrob that he is in real life.
    One of the most common complaints seems to be the fact that Alice is “emotionless”. Other than being much more curious, I’ve always pictured Alice in the story as behaving similarly to the Alice in the movie: walking through Wonderland at a leisurely pace, observing everything and everyone rather calmly, and remaining entirely too comfortable in a situation that should have had her screaming while simultaneously running for her life. As for her lack of curiosity, I believe that is due to her older age as well as the fact that, although her memory is blurry, she has been there before. Teenage Alice’s mood has been changed to reflect her age. Unimpressed, unsmiling, and seemingly unaffected by anything, this Alice is hardly the same wide-eyed, curious little girl that we remember so fondly from the Disney film.
    As for the film being “all over the place”, that is exactly the way the story is told. You mentioned that the movie wasn’t as “crazy, random and wacky” as the typical Burton film. Don’t you think that the movie being “all over the place” in fact makes it a little crazy, random, and wacky? In fact, I find your review very contradictory considering that your complaints seem to match up with what you think the movie lacks…Hatter’s changing accent: crazy, his dance moves: random, the White Queen’s hand gestures: wacky.
    Much like Lewis Carroll, the average fan of his famous book is a dreamer, an out-of-the-box thinker, and a fan of unwrapping puzzles. (The answer is: Poe wrote on both of them.) You have to be all three of these to truly see the movie for what it is worth. There is more to it that what’s on the surface.
    Respectfully,
    Ashleigh

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  5. I thought there was definite romance between Hatter and Alice. I’m kinda lame when it comes to hidden meanings, and didn’t catch any of the Republican/Democrat thing, although I agree with you holdheartedly about Depp. As an actor he’s fantastic, but at least if he hates the country that made him he left and isn’t just taking advantage of everything our country offers and dissing it in the same breath. I thought it was a good movie overall, which I was surprised by. I thought it was too dark for young children, but I didn’t think it was as bad as I was lead to believe. I thought Bonham-Carter was fantastic, but Hathaway a little over-the-top. Overall, like I said, I liked it.

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  6. i thought the film was good but 2 dark 4 kidz it shouldnt of been rated a PG it should of been at least a 12. jonny depp is a brillent actor and he portrays Captin Jack Sparrow (pirates off the carrabien) i think it shouldnt off been called Alice in wonderland cuz its not really like the orignal i think it should off been called The story off the Mad Hatter over all it was ok

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  7. Hmmm…. Alice in Wonderland…. Its a kids movie.. well should be really. If u kno wot Alice in Wonderland is about den dis version is NOT Alice in Wonderland. 2 queens.. WTF? Its too dark i agree wiv sarah. Yes it should not be rated as a PG as i would not let my kids watch it at all…. OFF WIV HIS HEAD… showing it is wrong. Alice in Wonderland is a fantasy kids movie not a dark 1. Dnt get me wrong its a good film but no way it should of been called Alice in Wonderland…. Its about da madhatter more. Wheres da songs ey? lol…. if u neva seen da original or kno about it den this film is good… but i kno wot da film should be like as i kno da original, and its nothing like da original…! Oh Barbra Windsor shouldn’t of been da mouse.. she should of been da “red queen” AKA queen of hearts… Oh where da hell is da scene wiv crouquet game? lol i was really lookin forward of seeing it and dis film had disappointed me big time. It’s only because i kno da original and dis is no way ALICE IN WONDERLAND. I probably would of enjoyed it more if it wasn’t called Alice in Wonderland as its soooo not. Dats all im saying…

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  8. In the original script Hatter did kiss Alice, so they were suposed to have a romantic relationship, but that was cut out prububly because of the age difference.
    There are other versions of Alice in Wonderlad whare the hatter and alice do end up romanticly involved in the end. SiFi’s “Alice” from 2009 for one.

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