ALICE is an American Law student in London. Knocked down by a black cab, she wakes with amnesia in a world that's a million miles from home Wonderland. We follow her adventures as she is dragged through an underworld filled with twisted individuals and the lowest low-lifes by the enigmatic cab-driver WHITEY (The White Rabbit). She needs to find out who she is, where she's from, and use what wits she has left to get back home in one piece.
Lewis Carroll's 19th-century heroine undergoes a 21st-century metamorphosis in the feverish, fast-paced Malice in Wonderland
's leggy Maggie Grace plays Alice Dodgson, an American heiress living in London. As the action begins, she's fleeing from a couple of unidentified assailants when she runs into Danny Dyer's cockney cabby, Whitey, who gives her a ride (a rabbit's foot dangles from his rear-view mirror). Suffering from amnesia, she decides to accompany him to Mob boss Harry Hunt's big party, but first Whitey has to get Hunt a present (Inspector Lynley
's Nathaniel Parker plays the urbane ex-con). During their travels, Alice pops a couple of Whitey's consciousness-altering pills and tangles with a parade of peculiar characters, from a diminutive purse snatcher with an identical twin to a sharp-dressed disc jockey with magical powers. When she loses track of Whitey, an agoraphobic duchess (Rosemary and Thyme
's Pam Ferris) lends her a hand. Meanwhile, Alice's pampered past comes rushing back in fits and spurts. Soon she's wondering if her chauffeur-turned-protector really likes her or whether he's just after the reward money. Like Terry Gilliam with attention deficit disorder, Simon Fellows directs with speed and flair--tilted angles, color filters, and surrealistic flourishes--but Malice
sometimes looks more like a music video than a proper movie. Written by Jayson Rothwell, his version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
adds naughty words, gunplay, and prostitutes ("tarts"), which makes it less suitable for minors than the Tim Burton version, but the unlikely romance is a sweet touch. --Kathleen C. Fennessy