Believe it or not, there's really not much more that can be said about this story and its production history that hasn't already been said about it in the "description."
Aside from the story itself, which is surprisingly engrossing enough considering the "gimmick" used to sell it, the 'philosophical themes' it explores are likewise intriguing -- exactly WHAT would you do if you were mysteriously jettisoned into the future and discovered that you may have actually been responsible (either directly or indirectly) for the creation of a monstrousity of a 'supercomputer' that arbitrarily decides who lives, who dies or where they are permitted to exist?
This is the dilemma facing young Alice, who first made history as the youngest person ever to travel through space -- or, rather, she WOULD have been, if it had not been for the TwilightZone-esque "detour" her shuttle was forced to make.
As a result of being violently pulled out of the world she knows into a new world totally unfamiliar to her, Alice is faced with a number of unsettling choices that only she can make -- and ANY choice she makes will have direct effect on and consequences for the future world where she now finds herself a visitor:
- Should she cooperate with those who want enlist her aid in destroying the computer and the human tyrant who controls it? Or should she not to get involved?
- Should she remain in the future with her new friends and help them through their struggles? Or should she try to find a way to return to "her own" time and leave them to fend for themselves?
- And even if she could find a way back home, what should she do with the knowledge now granted her? -- Should she then draw upon her vision of her future in an attempt to change history's outcome? Or should she not try to tamper with the delicate balance and resign herself to her own fate & the world's fate?
Tough questions; No easy answers! But, in the end, Alice DOES reach a personal decision and is determined to stick with it -- and, in the end, we, too, are satisfied with the choice she's decided on, though it means there will be difficult challenges ahead for all involved.
A story and theme capable of making you forget that you are watching what is essentially an extended independently running "PlayStation" computer game, as this movie is, makes A.LI.CE not only worthy of note but also something very special. And the accompanying music soundtrack is simply beautiful!
(Unfortunately, the "English Dubbed" voice-acting is just horrid! -- so take a suggestion I do not often make, and enjoy this one ONLY in the original Japanese audio, even if you hate reading subtitles.)
[[As a side note: This film's title is DELIBERATELY written "A.LI.CE" for TWO very specific reasons -- which both became wonderfully apparent to me, but which still drowns the greater number of people in a deep sea of confusion. I honestly & truly would love to share these "secrets" behind this film's title, but everytime I try to present some special "inside" or "clarifying" information about Asian movie titles or background history I always seem to attract people who enjoy "voting against" me for my efforts in these review forums. I've now decided that it's no longer worth it for me to continue doing this, so this time, with great sadness, I'm keeping THIS particular secret to myself!]]