Friday, December 15, 2023


I...will accept that.

Again, had next to zero inkling what this movie would be but I stepped in happy and open minded and was rewarded for my efforts. I feel the trailers did kind of a disservice, it was really pushing the Gene Wilder-isms and origin story card to get butts in seats, when in actuality the film is a beast of it's own entirely. In fact it is folly and a waste of time to compare this with the 70s film, it's like seeing a person with the same hair color, eye color, and even the same shape of their noses but everything else is different entirely. Even the angle of it's a prequel to Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is null and void, it uses elements of that film with some being more on the nose than others but ultimately is a fun and fancy free film with plenty of ludicrous nonsense. But a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest man. So our tale begins with a young Mr. Wonka setting foot back on dry land after seven years of seafaring to a city where he wants to open his first shop. Now the odd thing about this town that I noticed is everyone is for the most part british and cockney in accent, but I swear I saw a street sign in german but no architecture was german. Very strange. But anywho! So, and this is a no horseshit Jack statement, there is a chocolate cartel conspiring against the candyman and on top of that this movie gets a tiny bit little orphan Annie, and a squad of workers chip in to help open the store. That's the basic gist and for a film around the 2 hour mark keeps a very good pace, with more musical numbers than Willy and Charlie combined and it is exactly as I suspected. You get every flavor of song you can think of, introductory song, aspiration song, villain song, sad song, the works with full blown can-can dancing included at times. The songs are passable, I didn't adore nor despise any of them, and Timothée actually has a pretty decent singing voice. And yeah his performance is entirely his own, he has moments of Gene but at the end of the day is his own unique iteration. The emotion and humor is there from all the characters, with a good bit of love going towards Paterson Joseph, Jim Carter, Keegan-Michael Key, and of course Rowan Atkinson who were a joy to see. Though I feel slightly bait and switched when it came to Sally Hawkins but all is forgiven for I got to see her rapturous beauty if only for a moment. And to be honest I was fawning a bit over Rakhee Thakrar too. The sets and colors are great, the movie is actually really dang funny and I was probably the only one cracking up in that theater, even the plain absurdity of Hugh Grant as an Oompa-Loompa works surprisingly well I mean this director knew what tone and style he wanted and nailed it pretty succesfully! It is a fun movie and thankfully not terribly saccharine, so it is a recommendation. It's honestly tied with the 70s version for me but I give it 3.5 stars, 7.5/10! And I think the end may almost be here, but I may have a trick or two up my sleeves for you to enjoy.

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