Why Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is flawed entertainment

March 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

I liked this movie. I’ll start with this because I am about to critique it and want to make my position clear from the start. I am a fan of Burton’s visual style – what’s not to like – but as far as story goes, this adaptation had some flaws. Here are some contentious points:

1) Why is the Red Queen not the right queen? Because she’s deformed? We learn that the red queen is the eldest and that she had to take the crown by force from her sweetly perfect white queen sister. What I want to know is, why did she not inherit the crown legitimately? The film seems to imply that her monstrous head made her unfit to rule the kingdom? And it’s hard to ignore how perfectly proportioned her sister is.

2) If the movie is all about free will and not blindly following other people’s expectations, then why does Alice end up doing exactly what the oracle predicts she will (kinda lacks the surprise element)? I don’t know about other people, but at no point did I doubt that Alice would step up to the plate and embrace the vorpal blade.

3) Stain doesn’t really strike me as a very scary opponent. He barely does anything at all, except look scary with that eye-patch. I understand he’s just a caddy for the evil red queen but the red queen is so stupid that his wily manipulative ways seem wasted.

4) Is it just me or did others find the two royal sisters and their quarrel annoying? I mean, it just seemed so petty and stupid. I realize this is a kid’s film, but frankly I felt like neither of them should be in charge.

5) The film lacked suspense. Even though the world was wonderfully fantastical, it did drag a bit. I think this is due to the plot being fairly predictable.

On the positive side, I really liked the Cheshire Cat and his timely use of his evaporation skills. Now *that* is a cool superpower. And falling down the rabbit hole was quite cool in 3D too, I confess, even though the rest of the film would have stood up just as well in 2D.

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum were endearing, as was Stephen Fry’s blue caterpillar. And I wish the blue dodo bird was featured more prominently – it had a nice waddle.

It was refreshing to see a strong female lead in this film – one who slays monsters and stands up for herself. And one who does not choose to get married at the end. In fact, there’s no prince in sight! Instead, a business career – a welcome alternative to more conventional fairy tales.

In sum, the film was forgettable fun.


Entry filed under: Film & Television.

Career advice the art of apology

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