Critic's Grade: D
Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass is a classic, the birthplace of some of our favorite characters in Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland, like the Walrus and the Carpenter, and some who didn't make the cut, like the Jabberwock.
Unfortunately for Alice Through the Looking Glass, the Jabberwock died in the first film of this live-action series. What you're left with this is a tale of time travel and daddy issues where the only connection to the source material is that Alice walks through a mirror.
Johnny Depp's quirky Mad Hatter is sad. He found a hat, you see. A hat he made for his dad. And so it's up to Alice (Mia Wasikowska), who exists solely is to solve all of Wonderland's problems, to travel back in time and find out what happened to Hatter's dad.
Director James Bobin has turned down the quirk from Tim Burton's atrocious prequel—viewers are mercifully spared another Johnny Depp dance number—but the basic problems remain.
Alice is a bland action hero. Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen is ear-piercingly obnoxious. Depp's Mad Hatter just plain sucks. Time (Sacha Baron Cohen, with a thick German accent) provides an occasional laugh here and there, but they're surrounded by a mess of lame attempts at wit, faux profundity and unearned emotional resolutions.
It's bad, and everyone involved should feel bad.