This ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ Trailer Does Not Inspire Hope

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Even living cartoon Sacha Baron Cohen can’t inject any energy into the new trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass.

In the long (and fearfully) awaited sequel to Tim Burton’s live-action adaptation, Alice escapes from an insane asylum — because we can’t tell a Lewis Carroll story without talking about crazy — to find that Wonderland, in particular her friend Jonny Depp The Mad Hatter, has not fared well in her absence.

Enter Cohen who, in what seems to be his most restrained role to date, plays an armor-clad, anthropomorphized version of Time — no, it’s not “Father Time;” just Time — who sends Alice to the past and winds up as the film’s villain. There’s a 50:50 shot as to whether or not the film will include a literal race against time.

On her adventure, Alice will of course reunite with all of Wonderland’s characters, including the Red Queen, the White Queen, the rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, etc. All of the actors, including Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway, return, but the sequel is directed by The Muppets‘ James Bobin.

Beyond the melancholy moment when you recognize the voice of the late Alan Rickman, who reprised his role as the voice of the Caterpillar, the trailer fails to incite the type of whimsy one might expect from a place called Wonderland. Yes, there is a giant time cloud/wave with the Cheshire Cat’s face, but that’s as “out there” as it gets in what appears to be a vaguely psychedelic-inspired heap of colors and generic plot devices.

Our film editor, Jason Bailey, did not think highly of the original, and this trailer doesn’t give us any reason to hold hope for the sequel.

Alice Through the Looking the Glass opens in theaters May 27.