Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer & Helena Bonham
I don't think there is any doubt, Tim Burton is not what he used to be, hell he may be the most overrated filmmaker working today, rarely does a director consistently disappoint like he does, providing audiences with bland, lame and visually cliched films. I what seemed to be his most obscure and random project in years, A film adaptation of the 1966 television series 'Dark Shadows'.
Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is a vampire who has been buried for two centuries, After finally being set free Barnabas returns to his family estate, finding his dysfunctional descendants occupying the house as he struggles to adapt with the current times.
To be perfectly honest, I had very low expectations going into this film but to my surprise I actually got some enjoyment out of it, thanks mostly to Johnny Depp's performance which is the cornerstone of the film, hes brilliantly executed dry humor is something to marvel. The film is at its best when it focuses more on its comedic elements, especially the fish out of water aspect of Barnabas' character, but whenever 'Dark Shadows' tries to be something more is when it kind of falls apart.
Burton's messy direction is unfocused and just baffling to watch, If this film didn't have such a strong cast it could have been a near disaster. The films action sequences are just a little too much, I understand that they were supposed to be over the top, but it makes the scenes more tiresome than compelling, the last half hour in particular is quite rough.
Also, I don't understand whom the film is targeted at, It seems a little too zany for children and families, and not something intriguing or enticing enough for teenagers and adults. It honestly baffled me the whole time as to who this films target audience is.
'Dark Shadows' features a good cast, as I mentioned before Depp is great and really enhances the film, also Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter and Chloe Grace Moretz were all good, Jackie Earle Haley was hilarious, My biggest problem with the cast was Eva Green, who always just irritates me.
There is some enjoyment to be had with 'Dark Shadows', its comedic moments are fun, its fish out of water aspect is good due to Johnny Depp's performance, but the film does fall apart when it tries to be something more than a comedy. Its fight sequences are too much and Burton's directing abilities continue to plunder, well at least I hear 'Frankenweenie' is good.