My Rating: 7/10
Rotten Tomatometer: 82% Certified Fresh
PLOT: A young boy (Freddie Highmore) wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by the world’s most unusual candy maker (Johnny Depp).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: as far as I’m concerned, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is superior to “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” in virtually every way, EXCEPT the performance of the lead actor. Mad props to Gene Wilder’s inimitable panache, as opposed to Depp’s wackiness. As far as everything else is concerned, Tim Burton’s remake is just better. I know there’s a nostalgia factor at work here that won’t allow most people to entertain the notion that a remake (gasp!) could somehow be better than the original. But that is the case. There is more depth to the story and the characters this time around. The annoying songs (the ones NOT sung by Oompa Loompas) have been eliminated. The visual FX, naturally, are more advanced and meet or exceed the creepiness of the original. (See Violet’s transformation scene as proof.) The Oompa Loompas themselves are infinitely more entertaining and engaging, being performed this time around by veteran character actor Deep Roy, digitally multiplied hundreds of times. AND…that farkakta boat ride has been redone so it doesn’t actually give little kids f*****g nightmares. Regular Burton collaborator Danny Elfman composed new Oompa Loompa songs with lyrics taken directly from Roald Dahl’s book, so this remake is even more FAITHFUL than the 1971 film.
That’s right. I said it, and I stand by it.