Sometimes it’s hard to keep an open mind. Case in point: this film. It was over five years ago that Tim Burton’s worst picture inexplicably grossed over a billion dollars. I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation about the movie that didn’t end in eyes shifting downwards and a headshake or two. Occasionally I’ll see a cosplayer dressed up as Pale-Johnny-Depp-Warlock (I mean Edward Scissorhands… err… The Mad Hatter) – which immediately marks said cosplayer as one of dubious and questionable taste. I won’t take his picture on principle. But a billion dollars is a billion dollars. So here we are five years later with a sequel that no one ever asked for but we’re getting anyway.
To be honest, I’ve struggled with this article. I have absolutely no clue what to write. I saw the trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass an hour or two ago and there’s just nothing here. I want to say something, anything, positive but I’m drawing a blank. Reviewing marketing material is a questionable proposition to begin with; but is it fair to write off an entire movie based on just two minutes of footage?
Through the Looking Glass finds Alice being recruited back to Wonderland after The Mad Hatter mysteriously goes “bad.” How do we know The Mad Hatter’s gone bad? Because his ginger hair has turned grey, of course. Have I lost you yet? To save the Mad Hatter, Alice goes through a clock and back in time to figure out what happened to her old friend. There are better articles on this site to read. You should stop now. When traveling back in time, she crosses paths with Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen channeling Werner Herzog) who isn’t happy with the proposition of Alice going back and changing events. “You can not outrun time,” Cohen bellows as Alice does just that. How clever. Please – stop reading. Go outside or something. Anne Hathaway shows up again as The White Queen, somehow looking even more vacant and bored in thirty seconds of footage than she was in the entire first film. This is a tall order. Helen Bonham Carter screeches the joint up as The Red Queen again. Johnny Depp continues to do whatever he did as The Mad Hatter in the first film. Mia Wasikowska obviously showed up to set. I got nothing… It’s a movie… maybe.
Truth be told – I’ll actually pay money to see this. There’s some morbid part of me that can’t imagine Through the Looking Glass could be this awful. Maybe I’m being unfair. I like filmmaker James Bobin (The Muppets). Some of the imagery in the teaser looked decent – Alice walking through a door that then opens into the sky, Time’s Clockwork land, filled with black gothic ticking clocks. I sort-of warmed to Cohen’s beyond over-the-top performance. There, I found something nice to say – I’ll stop while I’m ahead.
Alice Through The Looking Glass opens on May 27th, 2016