Two chocolate bars up to the new Willy Wonka movie. I caught the vibrant, colorful and amusing movie last evening with a bunch of four to seven year olds (it wan an early movie). I'm not sure what was funnier: Johnny Depp's giddy performance or the little kids giggling at the movie.
The movie was darker than the original, fortunately losing some of the sappy sentimentality that Gene Wilder and the script brought to the original. However, it did have a slighty sweet subplot of Willy Wonka being the tortured child of an evil dentist, also serving as a reference to another creepy Depp character, Edward Scissorhands (he too was wacky due to his parents). This was a nice tongue-in-cheek nod to the pop psychology permeating our world.
The kids in the movie had a cool cartoon-like appearance, and were pleasantly updated for 2005, but were somewhat under-directed. I would have liked a little more sassiness or silliness from their characters. Group dance numbers were performed by an odd-looking single Oompa Loompa computer-multipled to many. Thankfully, there were new songs to sing (aren't we all tired of the old song?). But really, this was a movie focused on one man: Johnny Depp. I'm not normally a Depp fan, but I found myself laughing at his well-written, and well-delivered one-liners and wanting more.