The “somewhat” highly anticipated sequel to Alice in Wonderland comes out in a month and many people don’t really know what to expect. The reason I say somewhat is because it’s predecessor wasn’t particularly well-liked. If you pay attention to the box office numbers than you wouldn’t realize it because Alice in Wonderland came in at just over a billion in worldwide gross, which makes it currently the 22nd highest grossing film of all-time. However, the ratings weren’t nearly as high as the gross. IMDB gave it a 6.5/10 and the critic/audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes were 52/55% respectively. Yikes, not so great. If not for the box office success I wouldn’t have been surprised if Disney decided to drop the sequel entirely. So what should you expect from Alice Through the Looking Glass? Well….buckle in.
Let’s start off by stating the fact that all the major cast members from the previous movie are returning to the set for this film. Unlike Alice in Wonderland, which was directed by Tim Burton, Alice Through the Looking Glass will be directed by James Bobin and produced by Tim Burton. I don’t think the change in directing will make the movie feel much different though because as long as Tim Burton is on payroll, you can expect the movie will be creepy and chaotic every time.
The main new character to this movie is a half-man, half-clock thing named Time. Time, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, is suggested by the trailers to be a main antagonist alongside the Red Queen. He seems to be a scary, powerful being that you don’t want to mess with. However, since it’s Sacha Baron Cohen, I tend to think he will have a definite goofy side to him as well.
The plot of this installment of the series follows along with the book that it is based off of; Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Around six months after the shenanigans of the first movie are over, Alice finds her way back into the magical world of Underland. I assume she will find out rather quickly that her friend The Hatter, played again by Johnny Depp, is acting much madder than usual. I suppose one could go so far as to start calling him the Madder Hatter. Anyway, he seems to be dealing with some serious problems from his past that he refuses to tell anyone else about. Expect Johnny Depp to be flashing back to scarring memories from the past on a semi-regular basis. (Typing that last sentence I couldn’t help but think that I was doing a WTE on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.) Alice will have to use a contraption called the Chronosphere to travel back in time in an attempt to change the past and save her sickly friend. In the trailer you hear Anne Hathaway’s character, The White Queen, warning Alice that Time “is not someone you want as your enemy.” Somehow as she is traveling back in time she is also racing the character Time in a race that she is warned that she can’t win. Kind of confusing but also intriguing.
Another interesting component that might help this movie in the box office is that it is the last project that the late Alan Rickman worked on before he passed away this past January. I expect a fair amount of Harry Potter crazies that might not have seen it otherwise, decide to go see this film just to hear Alan Rickman’s deep, smooth voice as caterpillar one last time.
All in all, one can expect a lot of the same from Alice Through the Looking Glass as with its predecessor. If you enjoyed Alice in Wonderland than you will most likely enjoy this movie. I wasn’t particularly elated by the first film but I am optimistic that Through the Looking glass will still be a solid movie watching experience regardless. If you are on the fence of whether you want to go see it or not, my suggestion would be to see how it does opening weekend. If it exceeds the opening weekend box office mark of $116M set by Alice in Wonderland, go see it. Just make sure you see it with an open mind.