Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass

alice through the looking glass poster

Alice Through the Looking Glass is the sequel to Tim Burton’s 2010 movie Alice in Wonderland, and it’s worth a watch for fans of the first film.

Kiara Hayward

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) travels back to Underland (Wonderland) through a looking glass, and discovers that not all is well.

The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) desperately needs her help, and she winds up in a race against time, literally.

Time is an actual character in this instalment, played by Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat).

There is a great sense of dread created in this film.

Alice only has limited time to save the Hatter, and she’s running out faster than she realises.

Audiences will be on the edge of their seats as they watch her struggle with the life or death task.

This predicament brings a dark feel to the usually bright and wonderful magical land because if Alice fails, everyone in Underland will also suffer. The fate of Underland rests with Alice as she races against time, as well as Sacha Baron Cohen’s character.

Once again, Alice is facing a major problem in reality that she doesn’t know how to deal with.

As it turns out, after following the blue caterpillar back into Underland she finds the solution to her problems in reality.

This was similar to the first film, where she realises that she doesn’t have to marry a man she doesn’t like just because society wants her to.

There is also the usual humour and a few light-hearted scenes that Disney does really well to break up the tension.

Despite a few poor reviews, Alice Through the Looking Glass still provides enough backstory and adventure to keep audiences invested until the end.

Viewers get to witness the backstories for returning characters the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), and of course the focus of this film, the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).

The Red Queen, The White Queen and the Mad Hatter are really the only other characters besides Alice that really have any development in this movie.

Helena Bonham Carter shows us a new side to The Red Queen. In the previous movie she was the main evil Alice had to defeat in order to save Underland. This time around, The Red Queen is still evil, but we get to see why it is exactly that she has a big head, and hates her sister so much. This new angle to the character sees audiences maybe starting to sympathise with the character, as she no longer starts to seem like the worst person in Underland.

The White Queen is the other character fans will get to see another side of. But this is more through the past, with the young White Queen played by Amelia Crouch.

Anne Hathaway’s modern day White Queen is mostly the same as in the first film, she still loves her sister (The Red Queen) despite all she’s done, and still wants all of Underland to be at peace and happy.

Johnny Depp’s portrayal of The Mad Hatter in this instalment seems a little more sane than in the previous film. He doesn’t seem to have as many scenes as the last film to try and reinforce just how mad his character is. But Depp still brings his originality to the role.

The second instalment also happens to be one of Alan Rickman’s final films, with his iconic voice heard once more.

Sadly, the well-respected actor passed away earlier this year, and although he only has a small role in this sequel it was still good to hear his voice as the blue caterpillar.

The audience also gets to witness parts of Underland not seen before, with each scene bringing something new to the film visually.

The castle that Time lives in is dark and mechanical, whereas the town the Hatter grew up in is lively and bright, bringing some needed contrast to the film.

This vivid scenery engages audiences of all ages through scenes that are story-based instead of action-based.

Overall, anyone who loves Disney movies will enjoy this movie.

With higher stakes and interesting backstories, there’s something for all ages in this film.