MOVIE REVIEW: Alice Through The Looking Glass

Wild and colourful Alice In Wonderland sequel introduces a new villain, Time
The White Queen, the Hatter, and Alice in a scene from the movie Through the Looking Glass The White Queen, the Hatter, and Alice are all back in the brand new Alice Through The Looking Glass (Courtesy of Disney)

2010's Alice In Wonderland was one of the most successful movies of that year and it makes sense why. Not only is Lewis Carroll's original novel a classic (written in 1865 and still going strong!), but the film was full of incredible eye-popping visuals (it doesn't hurt that the book is all about a world where the imagination rules). So it's no surprise that they've put together a sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Based on the book (but only barely)

Through the Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There is an actual book — Carroll's follow-up to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published in 1871. But this new film isn't really a recreation of the book, so much as something that was inspired by it. In fact, many of the most famous characters of the book, like the Walrus and the Carpenter, don't even appear. Instead, the film uses the original opening of the book (a mirror, or "looking glass", that Alice walks through to journey to another world), and chooses its own course. Much like Alice does herself!

Alice Kingsleigh is now a ship captain, escaping pirates and fresh from a three-year voyage to China. She returns full of excitement and is already eager to get back to the seas to explore more of the world. But Lord Ascot (whose marriage proposal was rejected by Alice in the first film) has other plans for her. After an argument, Alice runs off, only to find Absolem, the butterfly. She follows him through the looking glass and back to Underland.

Time is not on her side

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Time (Sasha Baron Cohen) is a new addition to Alice's world. (Courtesy of Disney)

After discovering that the Hatter is not well, Alice goes on quest to help her beloved friend. The newest addition to the series (and a brand new character who is not in the book) is Time. That's Time, the person. Played by Sasha Baron Cohen, he is a curious mix of man and machine, with glowing blue eyes that reflect how well he is ticking. He is helped by a whole crew of metal minions who guard the Chronosphere, a machine that allows time travel.

Like Alice In Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass is bursting with lively colours, effects, and worlds. The time traveling sequences are especially cool. Time is a very interesting new character — not really villain or hero, but always full of funny quips and herky-jerky quirks. The White and Red Queen are also both back and a key part of the plot as we learn about their childhood and how the Red Queen came to be.
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The Red Queen is not so bad once you get to know her...okay, she's generally pretty rotten. (Courtesy of Disney)

All in all, this film does what any Alice fan would like it to do. It gives us a chance to spend more time with a bunch of favourite characters, some new creations, all on a brand new adventure. What's more, Mia Wasikowska's Alice is strong-willed, smart, and drawn to action — a great hero to root for.

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