Malice In Wonderland – Film Reel Reviews

Modern take on Alice in Wonderland set in North East England.

Directed by – Simon Fellows

Written by – Jayson Rothwell

Starring – Maggie Grace, Danny Dyer, Nathaniel Parker, Matt King, Bronagh Gallagher, Anthony Higgins, Paul Kaye, Garrick Hagon, Gary Beadle, Katia Winter, Steve Furst, David Frost, Alan Mckenna, Earl Ling, Dave Lynn, Lin Blakley, Steve Haze, Jimmy Ocean, Tony Cook

I’m not really in the know when it comes to Alice in Wonderland and I’m sure that I really need to be, however, that didn’t stop me from enjoying this flick. There’s no rabbits or crazy cats here, instead we get gangsters, prostitutes and a girl looking for answers. While I managed to catch some references to the classic tale, at least some of the obvious ones that you would know without having seen or read Alice in Wonderland, I’m sure there were plenty of others that I missed entirely.

This one plays like Tim Burton meets Moulin Rouge as the movie has a very dark undertone to it while the world is filled with vibrant and rich colours. I also get the feel of a Guy Ritchie flick in its pacing and editing. So much happens in its 83 minute running time that I was sure the movie had been longer. Not in that bored out of your mind feeling though. There’s alot of story compacted into its short time and it all works out perfectly.

Danny Dyer as Whitey, who always seems to be late.

As expected, we follow Alice through her acid trip of a journey as she meets quite a few colourful characters. I’m not really sure how to explain it all. Acid trip is probably the best explanation I can come up with. The characters are way over the top, the dialogue is quick and witty and the backdrops are dazzling for the senses. It’s the kind of movie I’d have to watch again because I was so distracted by the scenery that I probably missed some of the story. I spent too much time catching the ‘Drink Me’ or ‘Follow Me’ signs in the background to pay attention to characters.

I’d say the movie follows a logical path but this is Alice in Wonderland we’re talking about. Not much makes sense but it’s a fun ride. Urban fantasy would be the way to describe what’s happening here as Alice moves from one neon lit location to the next. There’s some great shots and angles used and the movie moves along at a very brisk pace to its exagerrated and, might I say, eye watering conclusion.

Maggie Grace as Alice.

There’s no point in looking for a serious and thought provoking movie here. It’s purely fantasy and a treat for the senses. It was full of humour and I’m sure that anyone with a greater knowledge of Alice in Wonderland will find lots of winks and nods in its direction. This is just a movie that everyone should experience, possibly more than once, to really appreciate it.

Under the marquee – Will

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