[spoilers] Richard Armitage is regal in Through the Looking Glass


Richard Armitage as King Oleron of Underland in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Screencap.

I was somewhat torn about whether to see this on opening night, not least because I’d rather not put one single unnecessary penny in Johnny Depp’s pockets after his behavior in Australia, but in the end I did go. About six people were in the theater for the first showing at 7 p.m. I opted against 3-D and don’t think you need it to appreciate the film, although it truly is effect-laden and it has all the fanciful touches one associates with a Tim Burton film. I still find that charming, but nowadays somewhat dated. Side benefit: Hearing Alan Rickman’s voice at the beginning of the film. Surprise: Armitage is billed in the credits after the film, which I wasn’t expecting. It was a slightly larger role than I’d been led to believe.

The film itself — well. I’d read the “Alice” books in the original when I was a teen and did not revisit them before seeing this film. This film has practically no relationship to the book it adapts anyway. I also felt no need to see the previous Burton “Alice” film, as I don’t enjoy the material, although I think my awareness of what was going on this one might have been enhanced by seeing the earlier one. It’s on the didactic side for a Disney film, I found, very fairy-talish, with acting to match. Sacha Baron Cohen was quite funny as Time, and I thought Leo Bill as Hamish was quite amusing as well. Helena Bonham Carter was playing yet another variation on a mean, weird character. Mia Wasikowska was good (she’s a favorite actor) but the material was not worthy of her talents, and Anne Hathaway played an insipid character insipidly. The ending of the film was more dependent on its use of effects than the script to make its point, and the script was at times truly annoying, particularly at the end.

Not annoying: Richard Armitage! It was neat to go to the theater and know he’d be there but not be nervous about it. He plays the father of the Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway characters, and we see him in two scenes — the fateful coronation of the Red Queen (where we see a lot more of him than we have in the previews) and then just a glimpse in a subsequent scene where he rushes in to scoop up his daughter (this is where he’s wearing the Shakespearean costume he tweeted a picture of himself in). He has a couple moments of just his face occupying the whole screen (sigh!) and he kings with a combination of majesty and sorrow for his tempestuous daughter. His voice is more in the John Proctor register than in the Thorin depths, but this was fine with me — more resonance this way, which makes him seem even more regal. The man just moves with a ton of gravitas and he looks with every watt in his eyes — you almost don’t know what he is saying.

the film was meh, Richard Armitage was wonderful and just the icing I needed on my evening. I’m not going to see it again in the theater, but I’m glad I did make the time to see his sensitive face (and those big forehead muscles!) on the huge screen. Swoon. Fairytale king, take me away!

~ by Servetus on May 27, 2016.

17 Responses to “[spoilers] Richard Armitage is regal in Through the Looking Glass”

  1. Thank you so much for this!

  2. Glad it was worth the close-up shot.🙂

  3. I am looking forward to it much more, after reading your impressions. Thanks for going on opening night. I have to wait until Fri.

  4. Good to read this as I am not going to watch this film – it’s just not up my street, even with Armitage in it.

    • There’s nothing you need to see the film for — the fandom will be all over this soon and you’ll be able to see everything you want / need to see.

  5. Thanks for your review. Sounds ok. agree with your comments re Johnny..

    • yeah, it’s not worse than any other movie I’ve seen recently.

      I almost don’t even want to waste my breath on Depp.

  6. Oh you’re selling it so well🙂 You really make me crave seeing him even more! I just can’t stand the rest of it and never liked Alice even as a child so i’ll have to wait for a version of it where i can fast forward through all the rest and rewind loads to see just him🙂 Good thing i did buy that big telly last year😉
    PS Only somebody as lovely and with such a great neck and throat like Mr A can pull off that cloak and still have a neck! 😊

    • It’s like Alice with a steampunk overlay, but with all the danger taken out of it — I think that’s one thing that is odd about this film. You have a film maker who is renowned for his weirdness making a story that is all about paradox and yet the film ends up being totally Disney oversweetened. I can imagine that real Alice fans (of whom I am not one) would not much like this film, either.

  7. I quite liked the first Alice, but that was mostly due to Mia Wasikowska. I’m prepared for this film not being quite all that (especially after reading this) but I really want to see Richard in 3D, even if only briefly, and it sounds like that will be well worth it.🙂 I’ll be seeing this next week with a friend.
    As for Johnny Depp – yeah…

    • Wasikowska is very good, although the film isn’t good enough that you find yourself thinking how great she is. To me it was definitely worth it for Richard.

  8. My kids love, love, love all the Tim Burton movies, so we may go see this as a summer treat and I can hear them now…hey, there’s that actor you like, isn’t he in Robin Hood!!! The youngest one always recognizes RA since we watched RH together. Something to look forward too…..

    On another note: Johnny Depp’s really turning out to be a disappointment — I think he started to believe his own press.

    • This is a good kids’ film, I think. I would definitely take the nieces if they wanted to go. I didn’t talk about the CGI’d figures above but Tweedledum and Tweedledee are truly funny, for instance.

      press — he’s had a lot of it this week.

  9. Beautiful description and sounds oh so Armitage🙂 Just mesmerizing.

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