Have you ever had a friend invite you to a high school play? Sometimes you know it's going to be stilted and mediocre before you even walk through the doors. But hey, these are high school students, can you really blame them?
Maybe not, but you can definitely blame the filmmakers behind Alice Through the Looking Glass. These professionals have put together one of the worst high school stage plays of the year.
You walk in already skeptical. The prequel play was underwhelming, and you've heard from a lot of your friends that this one is even worse. But hey, crazy kid Johnny got cast in the sequel, so it can't be that bad. You take your seat- there's a lot of open seats- and wait for the lights to dim.
Within fifteen minutes you already feel lost. The prequel play was so long ago and so forgettable that you barely remember anything about its story and characters, but the students in the play seem to think it left an indelible impression on you for some reason. Prideful bastards. All the character relationships and interactions assume you still have a lasting emotional connection leftover from the last production.
"But I don't", you think as you sink into your chair.
Sooner or later, the bizarre plot feels like a psychedelic trip more than anything. The chair is comfortable, the theater is dark, and it's so surreal to be absorbed in a production where you don't care whatsoever about any of the characters. You sit there, paying attention but not attentive, watching but not feeling... it's not bad, per say, it's- it's purgatory.
Wait, the stage decoration is rather pretty. So bright, so vivid. You decide to pay attention to that instead. With those colors and vibrant locales, you figure appreciating the set design is a safe place to stay.
Until the moment you realize how fake it all is. Oh god, you can't unsee it. That's not a forest, it's acrylic paint on cardboard! That door doesn't lead anywhere! It's just a bunch of strangely dressed big-name actors in front of the world's most obvious green screen!
With the inauthenticity of it all ingrained in your head, you begrudgingly settle in for the rest of the play. "It's not terrible", you reassure yourself. "Everybody involved seems well-intentioned, and I don't feel angry like I did when I watched Zack play with Superman and Batman action figures for nearly three hours."
But then the inevitable: you check the time. How is there still an hour left!? You thought you'd been there for at least two by now! As you resign to your fate, you realize the worst thing about the play:
It's endlessly, unforgivably, boring.
At least in that metaphor, you can leave during intermission.