dir: Tim Burton
[img_assist|nid=945|title=Stop it, Johnny, you're scaring and scarring the children|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=298]
When I heard the film was going to be remade, I had a sick feeling in my gut. When I heard Tim Burton would be the one helming it, that sick feeling grew to full blown, explosive nausea.
Maybe it was the hangover, maybe it was the dodgy curry. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. But I can say that see the finished product was a decent cure.
It is a good film. It’s not great, but then having seen the original a few weeks ago as well, neither is that one. Johnny Depp is no Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, but then again clearly no-one wanted him to be.
Instead of going down the track of trying to replicate that experience, Burton has done to this what he mercilessly did to Planet of the Apes: he’s “re-imagined” the character of Willy Wonka. Instead of being a mysterious Wizard of Oz type, eccentric aristocratic figure such as in the book and (to a lesser extent) in the first film, here Wonka is just an out-and-out freak.
Much has been made in the press of the idea that Wonka as played by the deathless and ageless Depp is reminiscent of Michael Jackson and Peter Lorre (the bug-eyed German actor from such classics as M, Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon). There’s none of the former and more of the latter, in my estimation.