Some things you might want to know about me before reading this review. I do not like musicals, I do like gore and blood, while I enjoy some of Tim Burton’s movies I can’t say that I am a fan, and before this movie I personally did not know much about the story of Sweeney Todd. I was looking forward to the movie though based off of the trailers and my love for Helena Bonham Carter.
This movie is about as much of a musical as you can get, it starts with singing and it ends with singing. Surprisingly this did not ruin the movie at all for me. I rather enjoyed hearing Johnny Depp sing and while he might not be the most talented he certainly held his own throughout. About the only part of the music that perhaps slightly got to me were the songs where one person sings one thing and the other person is singing something different. It can be rather hard to understand given the fact that accents are also involved.
I also found the movie to be quite beautiful (while dark) with the costumes and sets. But decent singing and sets do not make a movie. One day people will realize that not all stage productions translate well to the big screen and that often tweaking is in order. The story starts off rather slow for my taste and I sat there trying to be patient as I waited for what felt like an hour for the revenge to start.
Be prepared once the killings start there is gallons of blood shot everywhere on top of the fact that you actually witness the slashing of throats. I for one found it to be entertaining; but I will not fool myself into thinking that everyone will. So if you are one that would rather have things left up to the imagination perhaps you would want to consider another movie (even if you think Johnny is oh so dreamy).
As the story starts to take shape I started to realize I honestly did not care about Anthony Hope (the sailor boy) and his love for Johanna. I’m not sure if maybe during my bored state early in the film that I just didn’t pay attention to his character development or if maybe there actually wasn’t any; but either way any time his character enter I felt annoyed. And as for Sacha Baron Cohen I didn’t care for his role at all. Everyone was sitting there laughing just from him walking on screen; but all I saw was a slightly more advanced version of his role in “Talladega Nights”. It’s been done.
SOME SPOILERS MAY BE CONTAINED BELOW:
The ending came rather suddenly, and I personally felt could have used some help. I understood the ending and I know that Sweeney accepted his fate because he realized the monster he has become; but that does not mean that some of the loose ends had to stay that way. And for anyone out there that may be outraged at the thought of changing the story you should know that it was already changed some with the introduction of a new song.
So I guess the point I’m trying to get at is: Beautiful sets, decent singing and some gore does not equal a great movie. But it does equal an average one I suppose. Bump the grade up if you really enjoyed the stage production and down if you just can not handle gore or period pieces.