Film of the book: ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ (2016)

This is the worst film I’ve ever seen. It cost a whopping $170 million to make but clearly could not afford a decent script. They should have stuck with the source material, as the result shares almost no DNA with the original much-loved Lewis Carroll story.

I have to admit I was not a fan of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010) so I wasn’t expecting much from this sequel. It turned out to be even worse than I’d expected. The plot is rubbish. Alice, now a ship’s captain and explorer, travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. The dialogue is awful and there is a total lack of charm. The most positive thing I can say is that I like the wacky costumes. It’s a bad film that looks good.

Fans of the book will realise that almost nothing from it is included in the film. For example, chess is an extremely important element of the book, with Alice having to play her way across the board, yet the only remnants of this in the film are a chess game come to life for a couple of minutes and of course the characters of the Red Queen and White Queen. The film doesn’t deserve to use the title of Carroll’s book at all, so little does this adaptation have in common with it.

Whether a film is a good adaptation of a book is a separate issue from whether the film is good in its own right, as a piece of entertainment. Some films are not faithful to the source material but are still worth watching. This one, as I’m sure you’ll have gathered by now, is in my opinion a heap of garish CGI excrement that absolutely deserves its status as a box-office bomb.

I would direct anyone interested in seeing an adaptation of Through the Looking Glass to the 1998 film starring Kate Beckinsale, which is quite faithful to the book, if one can get over the oddness of Alice being a mum reading the book to her daughter and then dreaming that she’s in the story.

Low-resolution image sourced from Wikipedia.

2 thoughts on “Film of the book: ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ (2016)”

  1. I don’t know if I saw the sequel but I remember thinking Alice in Wonderland was incredibly self-indulgent of Timothy Burton, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Very disappointing.

    1. Yes, you’re right, self-indulgent is the word! As if it was only made for people who love Tim Burton films and those particular actors.

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