for intense disaster sequences and some language
Theatrical Release: Nov 13, 2009 Wide
Starring: John Cusack, Chjwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt,
Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson
Director: Roland Emmerich
Screenwriter: Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser
Producer: Harald Kloser, Mark Gordon, Larry Franco
Composer: Harald Kloser, Thomas Wander
Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Review by Jason Donner
We have to stop Tim Burton before he
destroys all culture in the name of Hot Topic.
I'm being unfair, but it seems like that's all that Burton has going
for him anymore -- assembling weird looking movies staring pale people
with bad hair all so that posters and shirts can be sold to teenagers.
I honestly think that the man has sold out and that he's taking all
the popular stories with him as he fights and claws as he's
flushed down the toilet.
Burton is a creative force, that much is
certain, but it appears there is a massive ego underneath the
strangeness -- an ego that must be stroked like a cat. Why else
would he want to reinvent Planet of the Apes, Charlie and
the Chocolate Factory, and now Alice in Wonderland. I
read somewhere that he didn't like the originals and wanted to improve
Well... is that so? Personally,
the first thing I would do is fire a director who not only expresses a
dislike for the original, but also a complete disdain for the
classic... they have no business being there.
Burton's made a big mistake out of this
one. He wanted to give Willy Wonka a backstory? Fine.
Wanted to expand on the Apeworld? Fine... but why on God's green
earth would you want to make sense out of a story that got famous for
being nonsensical? By expanding the story of Alice in Wonderland
and putting a concrete narrative behind it, Tim Burton has taken Alice
in Wonderland's most endearing feature - it's complete lack of
direction - and destroyed it leaving a movie overstuffed with CGI and
This Wonderland is a strange and joyless
amalgamation of the Disney carton and Lord of the Rings, though
why anyone would want to make an epic out of a story that has been so
famous for being flighty and pointless is beyond me. It's a
disaster! Burton's Alice falls into this world with a thud and
never recovers even though the visuals seem to fit, the story is too
Hell, this is Alice in Wonderland!
If there is just a little bit of seriousness, it's too much!
For goodness sakes, the flippin' Mad Hatter breaks down and
cries at one point. He cries! The Mad Hatter!
Alice is not an action star, the
dormouse is not a spy, and the Mad Hatter does NOT have an emotional
scene! Especially when that emotion is brought about because
he's sad that he's crazy! That's the goddamn point of his entire
There are bright spots: Johnny
Depp is entertaining as always and the visuals are a sight to behold,
but the entire film is dour, dark, and seems like it's had all of the
fun and whimsy squeezed out of it by dark forces. Alice in
Wonderland is tedious and thick, an emotional void that shouldn't have
been that way had Tim Burton's ego had been in check.