in my opinion every single work of tim burton’s is overrated, with the possible exception of planet of the apes, which generally got the panning it deserved. that’s not to say his stuff isn’t good – nightmare before christmas is good, batman is good, ed wood is good, pee-wee’s big adventure is very good, but i don’t think any of them are as good as public seems to think they are. it’s interesting that this film is titled “charlie and the chocolate factory” and the original is titled “willy wonka and the chocolate factory.” interesting because the former focuses much more heavily on charlie and this one much more heavily on willy wonka. let me get this part out of the way – the original is way better, this one shouldn’t have been made, johnny depp is no gene wilder, the songs in this one didn’t compare, visually it wasn’t as good, it didn’t flow as well, etc.
depp played wonka much weirder than wilder. i haven’t read the book in twenty years so i don’t remember what he was like in the book, but it’s a moot point anyway. depp vs. wilder, it’s no contest – wilder was more likable, more funny, more sinister, more dynamic, more interesting and more entertaining. wilder is a better actor and the character he created for wonka was just better, no contest. as a quick aside – there were all these really obnoxious little girls in the back of the theater who laughed at about 90% of the lines (funny or not) in the film. the most funny line in the entire film went something like this: wonka was describing why he setup the contest. he was getting his hair cut when he discovered a single silver hair. he held it to the light and said that that’s when he realized he needed an heir. so he set out to find one through the golden ticket contest. i laughed and the entire theater was silent. wtf? …hair/heir, i thought it was a good one. that was the best part of the movie. anyway, back to depp. he played wonka as an almost sassy social outcast. the social outcast part was fine, i think wilder’s portrayal as an eccentric was better, but…anyway, the sassy part was odd. it really catered to the young female population, apparently.
visually the picture was intriguing. the stark, bluish-white exterior contrasted well with the colorful interior of the factory. this is something that burton does consistently well. however, i still feel that the original did a better job in this department. the colors were more vibrant throughout the film. whereas the remake lost some of it’s vibrancy in some of the scenes.
the oompaloompas in the original were cool looking. in this one it was just one oompaloompa copied over and over again. it was retarded. i don’t understand the choice at all. in a related note, the special effects in this version were surprisingly opaque. the original didn’t have many effects, but the ones it did have (mike teevee floating being teleported, violet turning into a blueberry, etc.) were well-executed and believable enough. in this version, though, they looked like effects; they just looked too digital.
the songs, a highlight in the original, seemed an after thought in this version. the lyrics are less memorable and the music less timeless.
i started this review thinking that the film was average. after writing this review i’ve realized just how utterly mediocre it is. i did laugh a few times. i liked the kid who played charlie (though he was lost because of depp’s suffocating presence) and i liked the visuals, but, overall, the picture just has too much to measure up against.Watched in theater