Malice In Wonderland

Dir: Simon Fellows, 2009

3/10

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Over the years, there have been numerous adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s celebrated book, varying from faithful retellings to hardcore porn.

The dreamlike imaginings and obscure characters, are perfect fodder for a fantasy film, allowing the interpretor of the story to go wherever they like.

Malice In Wonderland is a rather ambitious effort, that is clever in itself but, ultimately, let down by the poor direction, amateurish script and wooden acting.

Filmed in Great Yarmouth (criminally very seldom seen in the movies), the seaside town is Alice’s own Wonderland. Shot entirely at night, the film looks great with the bright colours of the arcades that line the sea front, lighting up the screen.

Sadly, that’s where the positives end.

For anyone who likes Great Yarmouth, the film is enjoyable to see much loved attractions rather than the usual Blackpool or Brighton. But, the execution of the story is atrocious. Fellows makes the film incredibly difficult to follow, with all the subplots.

As beautiful as though she is, lead actress Maggie Grace isn’t right for the film and seems out of place. Danny Dyer is just Danny Dyer. It could be the same cockney character that’s in Doghouse or Severance. Or Human Traffic. Or Vendetta. Or…..

Malice In Wonderland is unforgivably dull, and it’s that that is so frustrating because there is a wealth of material to make a good film.

Fellows tries too hard to make it “out there”, and it all backfires on itself.

A disappointingly missed opportunity, that is nothing more than style over substance.

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