Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Cinemaster Score: 7.7/10 

Overall Review

All-in-all, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a good, fun movie – crafted like a more accurate adaptation of the book of the same name by Roald Dahl. This film is an adventure like no other, despite its strong influence from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Despite being a well-acted with an entertaining story and a phenomenal director, it falls short in the end. Unfortunately, the differences that separate it from the original just aren’t enough. Both are great to watch, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory doesn’t have as much of a fun and inspirational tone as the first. That – along with it coming out as a remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – is why Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a very forgettable movie. It is good but years later not that many remember it as well as the original. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory could have been one of the greats, had it ever found its way out of the shadows of its predecessor.

The Breakdown

Acting; The acting in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is good. It isn’t especially amazing but it is the best part of the movie. While the rest of the film falls short compared to expectations and its superior predecessor, the cast is still putting in good effort.

Script; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory doesn’t try too hard to stray away from the original in terms of script. Generally every character’s line doesn’t add to the character, but instead reassures us that yes, these are the same characters as in the original. Wonka’s character is well written in the sense that his eccentric side is exceptionally shown. The rest, however, are typical teenage and parent drama. In the end the writing in this adaption is not as innovative or original, but it is still serviceable.

Characters; The characters – like the movie itself – weren’t all that memorable. The one exception is Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka. The other characters are practically a carbon copy of the characters from 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. All but Wonka himself. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Johnny Depp plays a character that is haunted in an odd way from his childhood. He is perky and delightful for the most part but clearly takes on some personality disorders. His character is investing much more in business and dreams as ONE thing as opposed to Gene Wilder’s Wonka being a businessman and a dream maker separately. Depp brings an interesting take on Wonka that is both intriguing and unforgettable.

Direction; Tim Burton knows how to make even the blandest of settings, characters, and moments and mold them into his own chaotic vision. His artistic tendencies are prevalent throughout. Eccentric characters. Dramatic and vivid locations. Making the strangest of stylistic choices that meld so well within the story, you just KNOW this is a Tim Burton film. Given the strangeness of the original, I can’t think of a better director who could’ve taken on this project. His direction with Depp and the world he establishes is so familiar in tune with the original, yet so uniquely different that you can’t help but admire his methods.

Story; Originality is key when it comes to a good and compelling story. That being said, when it comes to remakes, you really only have two options. Completely revamp and change many aspects of the original movie or stick as closely possible to the formula set that you add nothing to it. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory comes up somewhere between these two. Tim Burton offers some unique twists with Wonka’s character having a more relatable arc and the characters having more dramatic actors to play them. In a Tim Burton film, characters with overly dramatic actions are a commonplace, but it ends up feeling rather tasteless compared to its predecessor. The core story is followed almost beat for beat with little room for growth, but Burton’s style does add some personality to this remake.

Enjoyment; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an enjoyable film. It keeps the audience entertained through and through. It keeps you hooked on the nostalgia of the original and the turns it takes in deviation from it. It isn’t the best film of all time by a long shot or even super original compared to the original movie, but it has a great re-watch value that makes up for it. If you sit down and watch the first ten minutes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory you’re likely to end up watching the whole thing without regret. Tim Burton’s version of the story is great fun and worth the watch.

Personal Review

David: “I liked this film quite a bit, but I didn’t LOVE it. Its the kind of movie you only end up watching if it just happens to be on television or you mistake it for the original. But once you start watching, it is able to keep your attention.”

JP: “I found this movie to be more dark than the original, it wasn’t as refreshingly unique as the first but it was still alright. If it was on TV i would watch it, as long as you realize its the same as the first, but with some nice twists.”

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