REVIEW | Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

The slew of negative reviews might be a repellent, but is Alice Through the Looking Glass really that bad? I didn’t think so.

The sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, with James Bobin (The Muppets) at the helm, we are reunited with Alice (a very tired-looking, makeup-free Mia Wasikowska)—now a highly skilled merchant sea captain. But an unexpected trip back to Underland through a looking glass forces Alice into a wild mission: save the dying Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp)—and this means hijacking time and history. Meanwhile, her Back-to-the-Future-esque trips also reveal the Red Queen’s (Helena Bonham-Carter) sad origins.

Alice may be too impulsive and careless by dangerously manipulating Time (who is a fascinating blue-eyed German or Austrian male in the form of Sacha Baron Cohen), but her determination does make her Friend of the Year. Cohen is darkly funny as the tick-tocking victim of Alice's quest, and his minions, the “seconds,” are ingenious add-ons.

The movie’s original story (not lifted from Lewis Carroll’s books) may be a little hackneyed but it is nevertheless solid and engrossing—with an intensely gorgeous production design, dazzling costumes and sets.

Alice Through the Looking Glass may lack Carroll’s brand of beautifully dark and crazy world, but it is an adequately enjoyable, escapist adventure, never boring, never pretentious, super eye candy, with a salient message on time and family. Glorious 3D experience, too.

3 out of 5 stars
Opens July 6, 2016 in Philippine cinemas


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