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Back in 2010, the Tim Burton-directed Alice in Wonderland made a billion dollars in the box office, despite the fact that the critics weren't too impressed with it. Of course, a sequel was inevitable - even though it took too long.
Now, I admit I didn't see Alice in theaters because we don't have theaters where I live, but when it was aired on Star Movies and HBO, I watched the film more times than I could count, and bought an original DVD too. At that time, I didn't know or care much about what other people said about the movie.
I was 10, I loved it - and every time I watch it, I feel like a kid again, picking up bits of knowledge that I have missed the first time that I saw the film. While it wasn't exactly the Alice story I grew up with, I loved the combined elements of both Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in Burton's film.
"The Sequel Is Just About The Money"
One of the criticisms I've read while perusing reviews of Through the Looking Glass online is that it's basically a sequel that never needed to happen. In these critics' opinion, the sequel only happened because of the mega success the first film had. While that might be true, and the plot might revolve around tarts or Alice wanting the Mad Hatter to feel happy again... I still don't think it should deter people like me who waited for six years just for a sequel.
Why Is It Getting So Much Hate?
I honestly don't get why the film is getting so much hate. I watched the first trailer when it was released, and it gave me goosebumps. It felt surreal to finally have a follow-up for one of my favorite movies of 2010. I instantly thought 'I will watch this movie, no matter what.'
The only hint of doubt I had when I saw the first trailer was because I didn't see Tim Burton's name appear as the director (and I'm not a Muppets fan). However, when I saw Burton's name appear as the executive producer, my doubts vanished.
The plot piqued my interest because they used Hatter's feud with Time for this film. I was genuinely excited to find out about that.
"The Story Is Nonsensical"
I can see why some would think the story is nonsensical, but I can list six things from the movie before breakfast that will appease a child's (or child at heart's) mind. It has sense that only children might appreciate (or understand), for adults sometimes underestimate a child's capacity. Truth be told, I wasn't very fond of Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, even though I absolutely adored the first book.
Taking elements and subplots from the first and second books and interpreting it in your own imagination is for me, the essence of what Carroll's stories are all about.
At first glance, it's just a bunch of whimsy; gibberish stories made up to entertain children. However, it's basically an escape from the real world - from the mundane things we have to face every day. Whether a good dream or a nightmare, what happens down the rabbit hole (or through the looking glass), stays down there. But when you wake up, or make your way back to our world, the experience will leave you changed, and with a new perspective - just like Alice.
At the end of the day, it really all comes down to preference. However, if you're about to watch Through the Looking Glass, don't let the abysmal reviews deter you from enjoying the film. Let your inner child accompany Alice in her adventures back to Underland, whether it's down the rabbit hole or through the looking glass.
Watch the film and let the whimsical world of Underland welcome you again on the big screen.