Published on June 6th, 2012 | by Thompson0
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp Have Lost Their Touch
When I received a text message from a good friend of mine who lives in Washington that read “the more I watch the trailer for Dark Shadows I feel like it was the movie Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were meant to make,” I felt I had to see it in theaters. Even my cousin, who shares my impeccable taste in movies, was excited to see it. Perhaps Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were meant to make this film, but God I wish they hadn’t.
Dark Shadows is easily the worst film Tim Burton has ever done. His debut, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, was even better than this trash. Coming off as a quirky, hilarious vampire spoof in the trailer, the film itself is lacking in laughs. The funniest moments in the film are in the trailer, so don’t go to this one thinking you’ll laugh through it. In fact, don’t go to this one at all.
Their collaborative efforts gave birth to classics: Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, and Alice in Wonderland. And I’d pay to rent any one of them before paying to see Dark Shadows again. With Johnny Depp’s recent attempt at reviving Gonzo falling on deaf ears and blind eyes (personally, I thought The Rum Diary to be an honorable homage to Hunter S. Thompson despite the box office results), he needed a box office smash, which is usually a given with Tim Burton’s name attached. The whole film felt rushed. Depp seemed to mail-in his performance, and Burton didn’t do much to avoid it. Even his wife, Helena Bonham Carter delivers a bone dry performance. There’s really no passion in the film besides the effort by Bella Heathcote, who plays Depp’s beautiful love interest, but her screen time is limited and at times you forget all about her. The love story was predictable and the comic relief was absent. Perhaps Burton/Depp films have become contrived, but I have faith they will recover from this disaster. Hell, when you make 7 films you can’t expect them all to be brilliant classics, and I know Tim Burton and Johnny Depp won’t allow themselves to go out on this sour note.
The Verdict (65/100): Don’t buy a ticket! Sneak into the theater if you can, and be sure to smoke a fat blunt in the parking lot or you’ll be miserable for 113 minutes. A bottle of Wild Turkey wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. In fact, do both, and then go see The Avengers instead. Dark Shadows is strictly a rental, and frankly, you could put that off, too.