Although Alice in Wonderland is a feast of beautiful color and art, the whole affair feels really hollow. While I'm a fan of Tim Burton, I'm beginning to think his remakes and adaptations are lacking the same heart and depth that his original stories seem to exude.
Alice is all grown up and about to get engaged to someone she doesn't love because it fits the culture of her family and the times. She runs off and falls down the rabbit hole, where she discovers a wonderland of oddity from talking animals to bloodthirsty queens.
I think part of the problem with this film is that it should be a five star experience. All of the pieces are there from the awe inspiring visuals, to the amazing cast of actors, to the popular mind bending fantasy story written over 100 years ago. The art is there and the actors deliver, so I think the real problem is that the script is lifeless and the storytelling doesn't translate. Without any clear background the characters' motivations seem shallow and the main character's supposed growth just doesn't seem truly realized. Everyone and everything just moves from beautiful scene to the next, but without inspiring any real excitement for anything but the scenery.
Alice must defeat the Jabberwocky (a dragon type beast) that is apparently under the control of the Red Queen, although we don't know why or how. Defeating it would return power to the White Queen, but she can't do it herself because her vows (to who?) forbid it. This is what I'm talking about when I say "underdeveloped script". I'm not saying I need lengthy explanation on why everything is the way it is, but for a 3D film the story had a very one dimensional feel, and these are rather critical plot points. I mean sure, the Red Queen keeps chopping peoples' heads off, so she should definitely be ousted. But I'm not so sure Miss "Crazy Finger Potion" White Queen is our best option; she just appears to be the only option. She can't kill anything...but getting someone else to do the dirty work is totally okay.
So Alice does, and the White Queen is given the crown. The Red Queen is banished. And then the Mad Hatter does a crazy awkward dance that you just have to see to believe. The story tries to prepare you by hinting at it earlier, but this is a perfect example of how so many things just did not compute.
This is an overall average film that will only please the eyes. I give it 3 out of 5.