Sunday, May 9, 2010

Film Yap: Malice in Wonderland

At first glace, Malice in Wonderland appears to be one of the types of movies where the title was invented before the plot. Much like Snakes on a Plane or Hot Tub Time Machine. Yet as the movie goes on, it looks more like an afterthought.

LOST’s Maggie Grace plays Alice who is first seen running through England. Something is bothering her and she wants to get to Hulme Street. Before that could be accomplished, she gets hit by a car and loses her memory. The owner of the car is Whitey (Danny Dyer). Get it, like the white rabbit! He, of course, is running late and oddly decides to just put Alice in the car and drive off.

The movie continues as a boring Guy Ritchie rip-off. There’s this whole plot about Whitey needing to deliver goods and give a present for a mob boss and blah blah blah. The plot doesn’t really work as a parallel to Alice in Wonderland. It keeps inserting reimaged characters like a reggae loving Caterpillar who is not smoking hookah. The movie never established a “real world” to serve as a contrast to this underground “wonderland.” It seems all of London is this nuts. It’s not even a fun nuts. The manic editing, crazy decisions, and amnesia storyline just seem too reminiscent of those who have done it better.

Alice never feels trapped in this world either. (Only the audience). She could easily leave if there was any sort of rational sense going on. Yes, “wonderland” is not about logic but that shouldn’t apply to Alice. In After Hours, it’s believable the guy is trapped in that city because the obstacles are actually obtrusive. Alice’s distractions in this movie are completely unnecessary. Everything is too contrived and dull.

They say it’s more about the journey than the destination. That doesn’t excuse the movie for having such a terrible ending. The plot is concluded through a mind-numbing cop-out and then randomly wants you to care about the family history of Alice. Quasi-spoiler: turns out the whole movie is about love. Of course that is discovered through asinine dialog like “What has no conditions but one condition?” “Love!” Good God.

The only thing saving this movie are the two leads. Despite its stupid script, Grace and Dyer add a surprisingly amount of depth and honesty towards the characters. They’re both very likable and deserve better than this.

There aren’t many bonus features on this DVD. There is a featurette that actually proves that nobody was on the same page with this movie. The only other thing on the disc is a photo gallery.

1 Yap.

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