Johnny Depp stars in highly anticipated 3D film version of "Alice in Wonderland," but unfortunately, this first major 3D movie since "Avatar," is something of a letdown.
That's because the visuals aren't nearly as spectacular as what we see in "Avatar," and the plot resorts to the stale plot device of a long battle scene near the end (though, of course, that's a problem with "Avatar" as well).
What's fun about "Alice" are the actors and the eccentric characters they play especially Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Alan Rickman as the Cheshire Cat, and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter.
Depp is simply delightful; somehow he manages to project a certain dignity no matter how absurd his actions are.
And Helen Bonham Carter as the snooty Red Queen is every bit as entertaining as she uses a live pig for a footstool and shouts "Off with his head!" every time someone causes a problem for her.
This version of "Alice in Wonderland" doesn't follow the original plot. Instead, it's a coming-of-age story for our heroine who's making a return visit to Wonderland as a teenager.
Newcomer Mia Wasikowska is just right as an independent minded 19 year old on the cusp of womanhood, someone who chases the white rabbit down a hole mainly to escape a marriage proposal from an idiot.
The films of director Tim Burton are always eccentric and often brilliant. But while this version of "Alice in Wonderland" does contain many of the quirky delights he's known for, overall, it lacks the charm and creativity of the Lewis Carroll original.