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Alice Through the Looking Glass

                                        review by Bobby Blakey

Disney has been on a role with their live action adaptations of their classic animated films as of late. In 2010, Tim Burton brought his unique vision to Alice in Wonderland with mixed results. No matter what you thought it did well enough to warrant a sequel with Alice Through the Looking Glass this time with James Bobin at the helm with all the original cast and some new faces returning including Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and the late great Alan Rickman, but does the film have anything new to offer the story or will it be a wasted trip back to Wonderland?

Alice Through the Looking Glass follows Alice back to the magical world of Underland, only to find the Hatter in a horrible state. With the help of her friends, Alice must travel through time to save the Mad Hatter and Underland's fate from the evil clutches of the Red Queen and a clock like creature, known as Time. I was not a fan of the first film at all so wasn’t all that excited for this latest entry. I found the first film to be a visual treat, but lacked in story and dragged a lot. This latest chapter is pretty flawed as well, but does manage to inject it with a bit more energy. The story is more fast paced this time around and offers up some great new visuals that will no doubt keep you fascinated. The cast of characters from the original are all here, but with the time travel aspect it allows them to tell more origin stories for the main cast. This gives the film a new adventure to move the story ahead while getting to learn about where they all came from in the first place and how they became who they are.

Visually the film is even more stunning than the first film. They take the viewer into some fun new places with the castle of time being the coolest to look at. During these scenes with Cohen the film works fairly well making for an interesting direction, but sadly it doesn’t last long. They hinge just about this entire film on the visual effects around them. This makes for a beautiful film, but one that never fully brings you into their world. Despite the fun at times and the visual buffet the film is a bit all over the place and never fully punches it home. For all the adventure and build up it feels like the ending just kind of happens with little to no excitement in the most predictable way possible.

In the end this film is clearly for the younger audiences and fans of the original film. For those they will no doubt have a lot of fun, but for those that were not really fans of the original will no doubt not have a change of heart for this entry. In addition to the film this release also includes numerous special features including deleted scenes, commentary, a music video and behind the scenes featurettes that take you further into the magical realm of Underland. Return to the adventure with Alice Through the Looking Glass available now on  Digital HD, Blu-ray™, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand from Disney Home Entertainment.   

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