Movie Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass

I don't believe I reviewed the first Alice in Wonderland (2010), but I did see it at the theater - my mom and I loved the 3D, the animation, and the characters. While Alice Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to that film, isn't quite as good, it is still enjoyable, with fantastic animation and special effects.

We open with Alice (Mia Wasikowska) at the helm of her father's ship, the Wonder. She gets her crew safely home, only to find that her mother has sold her shares of the trading company back to the company, and Hamish (Leo Bill), the evil man she was supposed to marry, is not approving any more expeditions for her. At the party that she and her mother are attending, she goes upstairs, and finds that one of the mirrors there (aka the "looking glass") is a portal back to Wonderland; she goes through the portal, and reunites with her Wonderland friends, only to find that the Hatter (Johnny Depp) hasn't quite been himself lately. To make him better, Alice must travel back in time, and to do that, she has to steal from Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen).

Most of the cast from the first film is back for this one, and we also have some new characters, like Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) and the Hatter's family, whom he originally lost years back. My favorite character in the Alice movies is actually the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and she had a lot of screen time in this movie too, which was great. Although this is a sequel, we actually learn the backstories of some of the characters, notably the Red Queen, the White Queen, Mirana (Anne Hathaway), and the Hatter, since Alice has to travel back in time to save him.

Yes, see this movie. I will say I enjoyed the first one better, but this one was entertaining as well. Also, definitely see it in 3D if you can, as the 3D was amazing; at the beginning of the movie, when Alice is in the "human" world, it was just okay, but later on, in Wonderland, is when it really starts to pop. It was fun to see all of the Wonderland characters as little, or at least younger - we see the Red and White Queens as children, and we see how the Red Queen's story starts (and how her head gets to be so big), too. If it wasn't for the special effects and 3D, I'd probably give this movie 3 out of 5 stars, but those definitely bump the film up a 1/2 star for me, and the movie is worth seeing, especially if you've seen the first installment.

Alice Through the Looking Glass is in theaters today, May 27th, and is rated PG with a runtime of 113 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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