Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Tim Burton, 2005) Review

Hey, the got the title right this time! That means it's better, right?....right? Anyway, apparently someone thought it was a good idea to let the madman that is Tim Burton take over the newest adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl. I for one would not want to see the inside of his mind but would his...interesting style work well with such as strange story. Let's find out.

I don't think I can really say the plot since it's just the same as the last review I did. It's a remake of that film and therefore has the same plot just with different actors. Johnny Depp is good as Willy Wonka mainly due to the fact he is more creepy than charismatic but he doesn't come close to being a better Wonka than Gene Wilder. Charlie is worse in this one. Freddie Highmore is just too innocent in this. Charlie was really believable in the original but isn't here. I think the kids and their parents are all great in this one, especially the parents. They are much more memorable. Yes, this is very much as Tim Burton film as not only is Johnny Depp in it but Helena Bonham Carter and Christopher Lee are too. Christopher Lee is quite good as Willy Wonka's father but Helena Bonham Carter is forgettable as Charlie's mother.

All the classic songs are gone which would be fine if they hadn't gone and replaced them with worse ones. Only the Oompas Loompas sing (which are now only one person multiplied by computer...not as good) and they're pretty bland songs. The one that will stick with you though is the one the robots sing at the opening of the factory...they even play it during the credits just to make your you remember it...ehhhh.

I find it ironic that the film called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is more about Charlie while the film called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory focuses on Willy Wonka. In this version, Wonka has a backstory as to why he is the way he is now...but did we really need an origin to the Oompa Loompas? Wilbur Wonka (Christopher Lee) was a nice addition as Wonka's father and a hater of chocolate. These parts were easily the best parts of the movie. Forget Charlie, I watched this just for Willy Wonka. So really, the sub plot is actually better than the main plot...interesting.

Overall, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an enjoyable film but is really not as good as the original. Johnny Depp is good as Willy Wonka and the character is given a good backstory. The supporting cast is actually better than the original but everything else isn't. The sets look too Burtonish and therefore too dark (not dark coloured but...dark). I would recommend it but only after you've seen the original. This one is more accurate but in this case, it doesn't mean that it's better.

A decent adaptation with some good things but is overshadowed by the original.

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