The film's predictably colourful creatures and landscapes lack texture and bite. Despite the many opportunities afforded by the storyline, there isn't really a point when objects fly at you, or when a shot is truly breathtaking. Because so much of the film is in close-up, there isn't much depth, so the 3D technology is somewhat wasted.
Based on the time-honoured story by Lewis Carroll, the film introduces a few twists, but nothing shocking. Alice (newcomer Mia Wasikowska) flees from an unwanted marriage proposal, and tumbles down a hole. She ends up in Underland, a place she visited as a child and thought was called Wonderland. There she meets a variety of familiar characters, including the strangely expressive Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).
Wasikowska's performance shows little promise, but Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen stands out. Depp, meanwhile, seems unable to shake his pirate persona: every hammy move he makes smacks of Jack Sparrow.
Following gripping collaborations like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Edward Scissorhands, this latest work by director Tim Burton and Depp is disappointingly soulless and flat.
YP rating: 3/5