Filling the coat of Willy Wonka is frequent Burton collaborator Johnny Depp--the pair have previously worked together on the likes of Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow--and what fun he clearly had. His Wonka is a kooky, isolated figure, extremely distrusting and clearly uncomfortable around the children who win a golden ticket to look round his factory. Burton invests time in his main character, giving him a rounded back story that pays dividends, and while some will inevitably prefer Gene Wilders edgier take on the same role all those years ago, Depp nonetheless is on strong form. The cast around him also perform well, particularly Freddie Highmore in the title role.
The story is as youll likely remember it, with five children given the chance to visit Willy Wonkas mysterious chocolate factory. And what a visual treat that factory is, bursting with colour and vibrancy. Along the way, they encounter chocolate lakes, industrious squirrels and the infamous oompa loompas, and truthfully, its fun to be along for the ride.
Is it better than that aforementioned 1975 version? Actually, its just different. Each film will no doubt have its legion of fans, but the bottom line here is that Roald Dahls classic has provided the source for an enjoyable, well pitched movie with plenty of rewatch value. Now if only theyd go and film Charlie & The Great Glass Elevator --Simon Brew
Depp captures the ecentricities of Willy Wonker to perfection, although in this re-make, there is a less jovial, more darker side to the Wonka character than there is in either the book or the original film. With his comical bob, quirky mannerisms and squeaky high pitched voice Depp is a wonderfull Willy Wonka, and all other kids, Charlie included are exactly how I imagined them to be in the book. Inside, the chocolate factory is almost as rich an delicious as a bar of Willy Wonkers wipplescrumtious fudgemallow delight. Although I must admit I was slightly disturbed by the Oompah-Loompahs in their tight PVC suits, gyrating to the songs (I'll let you draw your own mental image!) The only confusing element to this film which I am yet to work out is wether the film is set in the UK or US with American Money but Charlie Bucket (The magnificent Freddie Highmore) speaking in an English Accent. 5 children win Gold Tickets to enter Wonka's magnificent factory, and one by one, disaster befalls each and every child until only Charlie is left standing...
All in all I think Depp totally embraces the character and makes it his own. He mixes Comedy with Seriousness and adds his own little quirks like only Depp can. Why oh why hasn't this man won an Oscar? If you liked the original then watch this too, a wonderful modern remake on the classic much loved novel by the equally much loved late great Roald Dahl. Definitly worth a viewing! Great family film!