Few expected that 18 years after Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Tim Burton’s movie based on Roald Dahl’s story, a prequel centered on the character played by Johnny Depp would take place. But this has happened. For better or for worse, Wonka is one of the movies set to mark Christmas 2023, and Timothée Chalamet is its main protagonist.
Directed by Paul King, the director of the two Paddington movies, the film is premiering this very week and aims to extend its run throughout December. But is it a good film or a complete letdown? For now, we can heed the initial reviews that have come out about the movie, and from what we see at first glance, there’s practically a bit of everything.
Mixed reviews for the new movie from the director of Paddington
With a score of 67 on Metacritic, Wonka makes it clear that it passes but not with flying colors. But what critics are saying about it is even more interesting:
“Like any good chocolatier, King has obsessively focused on texture and flavor. And it’s those qualities—tailored to mass-market tastes but held in connoisseurial balance—that give his film its irresistible velvety sweetness.” – Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
“Director Paul King brings the same comedic sweetness as his acclaimed Paddington movies, but this charming, often amusing musical has its own cheeky and generous sphere, despite having to comply with the rules governing all potential franchises.” – Screen Daily
“Wonka only sporadically evokes cinematic magic, and most of those moments owe a huge debt to directly linking with the previous film based on Roald Dahl’s story, rather than forging its own path for a new generation.” – CNN
“It’s possible that the young audience will be delighted, but I’m saddened to report that I found the whole thing sickly sweet and irredeemably corny.” – The Hollywood Reporter