Movie review: "Alice in Wonderland"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Those looking for more substance might find themselves disappointed by a story that encompasses all the best aspects of the Alice story (wacky characters, ethereal scenery), but fails to bring anything truly innovative.

This movie is set well after Carroll's story "Through the Looking-Glass," and Burton's Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is no child. She's 19, on the verge of womanhood, and unhappy with her dutiful life and proposed marriage in Victorian London.

When she escapes down the rabbit hole, the once dreamy child is now a woman destined to be Wonderland's savior.

Alice has no recollection of Wonderland, but her furry friends desperately need her to restore their world to splendor after years of devastation under the rule of the wicked Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter).

In a typical fantasy storyline, Alice follows her quest while meeting associates - Cheshire Cat, Bayard the Bloodhound, Blue Caterpillar - along the way.

She, of course, runs into Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter, whose multiple personalities are represented by various accents, vocal depths and even a lisp. Depp is amusing at times, but grating at others, and the shtick wears thin by the end.

"Wonderland" is an excitement of the senses, with moments ranging from charming to terrifying. But in the end, all you're left with is popcorn entertainment.

"Alice in Wonderland"

Opens Friday

Grade: B