Run time: 114mins

Director: James Bobin

Cast: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Lindsay Duncan, Matt Lucas, Alan Rickman (voice)

Synopsis: Alice returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland and is joined by The Mad Hatter, The White Queen, The Red Queen and new characters including Time.


Director James Bobin [Muppets Most Wanted (2014); The Muppets (2011); Ali G, Aii (2000)] brings us this sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010) with a story that has only the loosest of loosest nods to Lewis Carroll’s novel of the same name.

This screenplay by Linda Woolverton is mostly a time travel fantasy – H.G. Wells meets J.K. Rowling – shot in eye-popping hallucinogenic CGI visuals.

It opens with Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) sailing the Straits of Malacca with her crew on her father’s ship, The Wonder. They are under attack by pirates, so Alice tries to steer the ship away from them. The winds blow the ship towards the open ocean, but Alice manages to bring it back on course before it hits a huge rock.

The complicated narrative gets curiouser and curiouser when, three years later, Alice returns to London and reunites with her mother (Lindsey Duncan). She informs Alice that Hamish Ascot (Leo Bill), the man that Alice rejected in the previous film, has taken over his father’s company, as well as Alice’s share of it, along with her mother’s house. Alice claims this is payback for the rejection, though Hamish denies it (even though it’s obvious). He says he will give Alice back the bond to her mother’s house if she signs over her father’s ship. Alice and her mother argue over the matter, and Alice retreats into another room. There, she sees Absolem (the wonderful voice of Alan Rickman – his final performance), who is now a blue butterfly. He tells Alice she has been away for too long. Absolem flies toward a mirror and goes through it and is back in Wonderland (or “Underland”).

Alice then reunites with Mirana The White Queen (Anne Hathaway), Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (voice of Matt Lucas), The White Rabbit (voice of Michael Sheen), The Cheshire Cat (voice of Stephen Fry), Bayard the bloodhound (voice of Timothy Spall), Mallymkun the dormouse (voice of Barbara Windsor), The March Hare (voice of Paul Whitehouse), and the Bandersnatch. They’re all in the middle of – what else – a tea party, when they inform Alice that Tarrant Hightopp/The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) has not been himself lately, and they believe Alice will be able to help him.

The Hatter believes Alice can help bring them back his family. To do this she must speak to the main antagonist, Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) and use the Chronosphere, a powerful device that travels through time that only Alice can use since she is not originally part of WonderlandSadly Alice through the Looking Glass doesn’t reflect the wonder that it deserves despite some strong performances also it is perhaps too frightening for young children.

However the make-up department deserves praise – especially for Depp’s eyes. The film is dedicated to the memory of Alan Rickman ‘from his friends’.

Images courtesy of  WALT DISNEY UK