A young Willy Wonka embarks on a mission to spread joy through his chocolate, which quickly becomes a phenomenon.

  • Released: 2023-03-16
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Natasha Rothwell, Tom Davis, Simon Farnaby, Rich Fulcher, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Paterson Joseph, Calah Lane, Matt Lucas, Colin O'Brien, Rakhee Thakrar, Ellie White, Mathew Baynton, Jim Carter
  • Director: Paul King
  • Davalon-Davalon - 15 June 2024
    Funny and sweet moments, but overall, it doesn't work.
    I truly hate to be cynical, but this movie just doesn't cut it. While Timothée Chalamet, as Willy, certainly brings enthusiasm and charm, it doesn't really matter, because there are long, slow sequences where I kept saying, "Get on with it!"

    This "origin story" of how Willy ends up with his chocolate factory actually sounded like an interesting idea. But this movie is all over the place. It's vaguely British, and yet, Timothée has no English accent, nor do other notable actors in the movie, whereas many of the other notable actors are British. In the producers' fever dream to be "diverse," they have gone overboard, and it doesn't work; the characters just do not ring true.

    Calah Lane, who plays "Noodle," a poor girl that ends up in a laundry establishment run by Olivia Colman (who seems to be playing a parody of an evil laundress), has no English accent, yet having spent her whole life living in indentured servitude to Olivia. Also, she seems flat and lifeless through the entire film until the end, where she has one great moment which I won't spoil here.

    The accents start to become jarring after awhile, as does the forced racial mix of individuals which, in this particular type of world, would actually not be in it.

    Hugh Grant (beloved Hugh Grant) plays the Oompa Loompa man. The thing is: Hugh is naturally funny and he was actually one of the few entertaining things in it.

    The original songs all fell flat; every single one of them. The only song that still holds up is "Imagination" -- which was first sung by Gene Wilder in the 1971 version of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

    So: wonderful graphics, many fun moments, a few good laughs and a few (very few) touching scenes, and Timothée Chalamet does his best to make things magical, but somehow the film as a whole sadly does not work.
  • darynmprice - 19 May 2024
    A Fantastical Family Film
    Before I start my review, let's clear up a few things:

    1. The original Willy Wonka was a musical so it stands to reason that this one would be too. I've seen a few reviews that stated they were misled. This movie is intended to be a prequel to the Gene Wilder version of Willy Wonka of old, and mind you that movie had more than a few songs sprinkled in which leads me to...

    2. This is not a remake so comparing it to the original doesn't make sense. It is a prequel. Perhaps that will lead to an actual remake but this is everything but that and isn't even trying to be. For those saying the original was better, just remember this isn't trying to be the original. It's intended as an origin. Now let's get to the review...

    The movie was an enjoyable time. I appreciate that it leaned into strictly entertainment rather than pushing unnecessary agendas or political ideologies. In my opinion, it's a masterclass in making a family film family-friendly, especially in these modern times. It had a certain 1990s charm about it that made it a delight to watch. The acting was good, the songs were fun, and the story was predictable but considering it's an origin story, the peril level was never really going to be high stakes anyway so nothing they could have done would make it any better. All in all, this is a fun movie that you should view to simply be entertained. The best part is that the whole family, no matter their demographic or belief system can watch freely without concerns. I enjoyed and will watch it again when my daughter gets older.

    Peace and blessings