FANTASY; 1hr 48min
STARRING: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway
Mad about you: Wasikowska and Depp
It’s hard to imagine a more ideal cinematic match for the inspired lunacy of author Lewis Carroll than director Tim Burton and his perennial leading man, Johnny Depp. The two fit seamlessly into screenwriter Linda Woolverton’s superlative adaptation of Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass: Depp is a spacey chameleon as the Mad Hatter, and Burton’s Wonderland — or Underland, as Alice learns it really is called — is a subterranean kingdom of hazardous, deranged beauty. It’s ruled with a dainty iron fist by the demonic, swollen-headed Red Queen (a crack-up Bonham Carter; Hathaway is a pearly knockout as her sister the White Queen). And as 19-year-old Alice (Wasikowska) discovers on this, her second visit, Underland is now a blighted world in sad need of a Jabberwocky-slaying saviour.
Viewed in 3-D, the sinisterly gripping place and its rogues’ gallery of CGI creatures bristle with life — Michael Sheen voices the White Rabbit, Stephen Fry the Cheshire Cat, Alan Rickman the Blue Caterpillar…. As the sanest of the lot, Alice is relatively subdued; but then again, divine madness has always ruled the Wonderland roost.