This week saw the arrival of the new Tim Burton film, which yet again stars the same people he always casts in his films, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. This isn't particularly a bad thing but I do think that this little collaboration, at times, can run stale and that is exactly what has happened with Dark Shadows. It certainly looks like a Tim Burton film but has none of the usual story telling we have come to expect from him. To me he isn't the greatest director but he has done some really brilliant films, unfortunately here I believe he has produced one of his worst, and the thing is his other newest films, Alice In Wonderland and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, are no better. He is on a hat trick of poor movies.
My first problem with this film is that it has no idea what genre it is supposed to be, other than fantasy like all of Burton's films. The trailer has this out to be some hilarious comedy, the quirky music and the pauses after one liners highlighted as if this will be slightly farcical, I have to say it is not a comedy what so ever. There were maybe one or two laughs and that was at an absolute push. The thing is it isn't dark enough to then be a thriller, not heartfelt enough to be a drama and not loving enough to be a romance. I have no idea what it is. The story is driven by a love story but it takes a back seat for nothing at all.
The story is an absolute mess. It is all over the place and random events seem to occur where they shouldn't. Nothing is ever developed enough for you to care about the little story on show so these random events seem even more out of place. The film has no story and no substance. It does however have typical Burton style and his usual panache with the visuals on show. The colours are really illuminated and the gothic feel is still about, unfortunately this does not help the film out in the slightest.
It is also a surprise to see such an all star cast in this film, none of whom are actually any better than average here mind you. If you didn't know any better this film holds actors that have won or been nominated for Oscars and one who was a Bond girl. If you weren't aware of that you will be shocked to hear it if you have seen this film. Depp is fast becoming type cast, and you will know his character before he is even on the screen. The other actors don't bring much new to proceedings and all seem to be in auto pilot. Chloe Moretz Grace's role is pointless as is Jackie Earle Haley's, and these two are better actors than being pushed to one side in a poor film. Pfeiffer and Green aren't great either, you could perhaps say Green is a little better but that is probably because she has her cleavage on show for most of it.
This is a film that has no idea what it is meant to be, and one that is showing Burton's work flounder as opposed to flourish. He stamps his usual trademark all over this film but it seems like a production company wanted a remake of the old Dark Shadows television show and threw a load of money at Burton to direct it and he has done it for the money instead of the love, because I tell you now he hasn't put his heart into this dour effort.
Pros: Some nice effects in Burtonesque style.
Cons: No story and no genre to categorise it as.
4 / 10
Top 10 films of 2012 so far:
1. The Hunger Games 8 / 10
2. Avengers Assemble 7.5 / 10
3. 21 Jump Street 7.5 / 10
4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7 / 10
5. The Grey 7 / 10
6. American Reunion 6 / 10
7. Safe House 6 / 10
8. The Raven 6 / 10
9. Contraband 6 / 10
10. The Cabin In The Woods 5.5 / 10