Somehow word had gotten to me that this movie was no good. Whoever says this has a serious case of “not getting the joke.” I actually think this is a better film that the first version — even if the original Veruca Salt is one of the greatest performances in film history. I think Depp as Wonka is a perfect match and all the other non-Veruca Salt children were terrific. (The Veruca on display here is fine, but, you know. . .what could compare to the original?) The original Chocolate Factory movie, for me, was always a disappointment because it was the first time I had ever experienced seeing a movie after reading a book. I’ve now grown to recognize that the book is always better (yes, yes, there is a short list that refutes this rule) but when I was eleven I assumed the movie would be just as I pictured it. Anyway, Ann & giggled our way through this and ate fudge. My favorite part was seeing Mike Teevee’s dad in those silly sunglasses.
Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.
He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.