Alice Through the Looking Glass

The heroine of this forced, mechanical follow-up to Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" (2010) is not Lewis Carroll's curious 7-year-old girl but rather an intrepid sea captain with an entrepreneurial streak who refuses to bend to the will of a patriarchal society. Fueled by empathy and an appetite for risk, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) travels back in time in the fantasy realm of Underland to learn what happened to the family of her pal the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). Returning to the real world of 1875 London, she defends her family's legacy against a rapacious shipping company led by a former suitor (Leo Bill) who has designs on the vessel she inherited from her father. Despite exciting visuals, a talented ensemble, and glittery costume and makeup designs, this 3-D adventure, directed by James Bobin, feels inert - audacious yet tediously familiar at the same time.

Watch out for: Frequent, moderately intense fantasy action, several instances of cruel behavior, and a couple of mild oaths.

Rated: A-II, adults and adolescents; MPAA: PG

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016