Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Red King's Dream

Alice in Wonderland: OK, but not really Burton at his best; he seems to be just ticking boxes (Gothic imagery? Check. Childhood imagery? Check. Helena Bonham Carter? Check. Checkerboards? Check) rather than really innovating, and even Johnny Depp lacks his usual sense of madness and just looks like Ronald McDonald after a bad Friday night in Camden. "Alice in Wonderland" is one of those children's stories which lends itself well to adult reinterpretation; the problem is that it's been done before, twice (Dreamchild in 1985 and Něco z Alenky in 1988), both of them bringing a sense of twisted menace and peculiar sexuality which this film is completely missing. Also drags in a linear throughput plot thread which seems to be stolen in equal measures from Dragonslayer and The Wizard of Oz (Alice must slay the Jabberwock and restore the White Queen to the throne, thwarting the evil Red Queen) which Lewis Carroll would hardly have approved of. It passed the time well enough on an eleven-hour flight from Brazil, but I wouldn't have paid money to see it.

Movie count for 2010: 67