‘Wonderland’ a trip worth taking

Brett Hilbrandt

Tim Burton is easily one of my favorite modern directors, but I will be the first to admit he has some less than stellar films, most of which are remakes. “Planet of the Apes” was horrible, and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” just made me realize how amazing the original film was. So when I heard he was taking a shot at “Alice in Wonderland,” one of my favorite stories from childhood, I was very concerned it would be a disaster.Luckily, Burton does the classic justice by bringing us deeper into the rabbit hole.

Alice is a 19-year-old girl, who used to have dreams about visiting a magical place as a child. She attends a party that is supposed to be her “surprise” engagement, and runs off after a dashing white rabbit catches her attention. She falls into a fox hole in the bottom of a tree and is dropped into a magical world that she believes is nothing more than a dream, but she is informed that it is not a dream at all and that she is the only person who can stop the evil Red Queen who has taken over Wonderland.

I truly enjoyed most every actor in this film. Depp is still the most consistent actor of all time, but I want to know what drugs he takes to act so weird so perfectly.Bonham Carter is one of my favorite actresses, and she is great in this film. Every line she has made me chuckle, and her appearance is flawless. Mia Wasikowska may not have that many movies under her belt, but her performance is very solid. Her action scenes may seem a little odd but it does not hurt the film. Anne Hathaway is hardly in the film, and this was not one of her better performances. Crispin Glover did a good job, and an extra note should be given for a great voice recording from Alan Rickman as the seemingly stoned caterpillar.

The plot is unfortunately the film’s biggest downfall. The story flows at a breakneck pace at some points, and while I have read the book “Through the Looking Glass,” most general viewers may have a problem since this film is actually a sequel to the original “Alice in Wonderland.” There is a lot of sloppy character development, and I wasn’t invested in what happened to most of the characters.

While this may sound like a horrible movie it truly is not. The imagery is near perfect, and the performances by some of the actors make this film worthwhile.  The script is very funny, and the humor is spot-on to the point that I found myself laughing for a good chunk of the film.

Tim Burton has a very distinct style that works very well in this film. From the trademark evil twisting-branched trees to the outrageous amount of mushrooms,  this film lives and breathes in Tim Burton’s dark mind. Some aspects such as action sequences and style remind me of “Sleepy Hollow,” but this film is not as evil as most of his films. The level of violence is never too bad, but the end made me laugh with a random “Off with your head” scene.

Overall this is far from a perfect film, but it is very entertaining. Sometimes a film is meant simply to entertain, but as a person that judges films, I wish there was more to it underneath its amazing outer shell. ‘Wonderland’ is definitely worth seeing in the theaters while it’s in 3-D, but if you have no imagination and your inner child has long since moved out, then stay away from this film.