I saw Charlie & the Chocolate Factory in IMAX tonight!
My commentary on it is a total spoiler, hence the LJ-CUT:
I’m going to actually go so far as to say – I didn’t like this movie. It had redeeming qualities, but everything was totally overshadowed by the fact that Willy Wonka reminded me of Michael Jackson. Right down to the high pitched voice, the abusive father and the weird, custom designed kingdom.
My vision of Willy Wonka has always been very different than that movie interpretation. He wasn’t an overly pale freak with an effeminate haircut in my vision, but the dapper little man with the neat goatee and emerald green pants. In my imagination, he was the all confident prankster, not the awkward eccentric. My perception of Willy Wonka from my many readings of the two Charlie books was of an outgoing, cheerful character. Not a shy, stammering freak.
So way to go, screenwriters and Johnny Depp! You have effectively killed one of literature’s best loved characters! And what the hell was up with that backstory? I hated it. Hated. It. And resolving it at the end was awkward, weird, and gave the movie an ending that felt completely wrong.
There were redeeming qualities to the vision that Burton had for the world of the factory though. The Oompa-Loompas covering KISS? Genius. Updating Violet Beauregard and Mike Teavee to have 2005 characteristics? Also brilliant, and very very well done. The vision of the chocolate meadow, the glass elevator, and anything invoving the Oompa Loompas? Outstanding. But I couldn’t let go enough to enjoy it because I was too busy cringing at the way Wonka’s character had been eviscerated and replaced with a pale, completely unrelated shadow to mouth his lines and embarass us all.
You’d think after the Michael Jackson trial, Burton would try to make his character a little less reminiscent of one of America’s most loathed characters.
Of course, one of my other problems is that, when the Oompa Loompa’s first song started, all I could think about was Fry and the Slurm Factory and the Grunka Lunkas. “Look, the disgusting little men are starting to sing!” Sigh. Futurama has ruined my brain.
I’m also terribly sorry I couldn’t like Johnny Depp in this movie. Because I loved him in Edward Scissorhands. Sigh. Oh Tim Burton, can’t you go back to creating giant Hot Topic commercials?