Monday, July 18, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factor: Too Sweet?

SPOILER ALERT: Hereafter lie full plot details and disappointments.

So a group of us ran out and saw the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Fear not: Johnny Depp's not THAT weird as Willy Wonka.

Here's what's weird: Tim Burton. And not in a good, dark, morbid kind of way. Weird in the sense that he should be dark and morbid but he keeps making really sappy movies. They're good right until he buries you in chocolatey goodness.

I was on board with this Willy Wonka. I was willing to go there with Burton's need to create his toothsome backstory. But his heavy-handed addition of a nuclear-family moral to the story was frankly ... off-putting.

The family lesson is already in the book -- subtle as only Roald Dahl can be in a book about candy, magic, and spoiled brats. Why ruin this with a make-up scene between Willy Wonka and his torturer of a father (again, not subtle! He's a dentist for crying-out-loud with-your-mouth-open!)? A horrible childhood, years of estrangement, and we're supposed to think everything's okay after an awkward rubber-glove hug between father and son? I don't think so.

Come on, Tim! We know you're morbid, and that's okay with us! Let it be dark. We can take it.

If only he'd heed my advice before releasing his next creepy sap-story: Bride Corpse. I'm sure it will be just as saccarine. Sigh.


Anonymous pika said...

Ditto! Subtlety is dead in this movie that could be a poster-film for "Focus on the Family." I'm not sure that folks these days are comfortable with their dark side. There's just too much fear-mongering going around for this to be an enjoyable exercise.

12:24 PM  

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