115 Min | Adventure – Comedy – Family | July 2005
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Review: As one would expect, this modern take on Roald Dahl’s story benefits greatly from advances in special effects, the look of both the bleak town and the factory interior are spectacular. The most glaring shortcoming of this “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is the bizarre, off-putting performance of Johnny Depp. He is as badly miscast as Gene Wilder was in the earlier film (Willy Wonka was both very old and a dwarf), but Wilder was very likable. Depp is just strange.
The Oompa-Loompas of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” are better in some ways and not in others–their look and songs are different, but they’re too “modern” and seem out of place. They also pull the punches we’re told before he’s even gone that no harm will come to Augustus Gloop, despite his clearly deserving it. It’s better that we’re not sure (like in the 1970 version).
All in all, this Tim Burton Vision of Dahl’s story is a big, fat disappointment. The best parts of the story (like when Charlie believes the 5th ticket has been found, then gets the double surprise of the revelation of the forgery and getting his own ticket) are almost entirely skipped here. It’s as if Burton doesn’t want us to enjoy the story. If so, he got his way.