Whether navigating a ship to safety in the midst of a fierce storm, raising prim Victorian eyebrows at her whimsical wardrobe, or telling off her doltish, spurned, would-be fiancé Hamish (Leo Bill), it is obvious that Alice (Mia Wasikowska) in Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass is not Lewis Carroll’s classic wide-eyed naif of the blue dress and pinafore fame. Sure, Carroll’s Alice too, had a lofty vocabulary, sense of adventure and penchant for occasional sassiness, but in an era of Katniss, Tris, and Khaleesi—perhaps those qualities alone just weren’t going to cut it in 2016.
Of course, in Tim Burton’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland, our heroine was also slightly sassier than her predecessor, but now she has matured even more into a headstrong, slightly reckless feminist.
Other than the fact that Alice walks through a mirror into another world, this story doesn’t resemble the original at all. Instead, it's all about time travel. When Alice meets up with her old pals (The White Rabbit, Dormouse, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, etc.) she discovers a distraught Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). His health is failing—his vivid orange hair is slowly fading to white—because he fears the fate of his missing family. Spurred on by the White Queen, Mirana (Anne Hathaway) Alice steals a contraption called the chronosphere, using it to time travel in an attempt to prevent harm from happening to Hatter’s family, and hopefully return in time to save him.
Are you still with me?
Havoc ensues as Alice learns that “you can’t the change the past—but you can learn from it.” All in all, the film was a bit confusing and overly frenetic at times, but still highly entertaining. Take a look at this list of the five best things about it, before it hits theaters on May 27.