Johnny Depp becomes a sensitive pitchman for the power of packaged-goods selling in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which Warner Bros. releases Friday. In the movie, Mike Teavee, an American boy gone bad on grunge rock and first-person shooter video games, challenges Willie Wonka (Depp) to explain his teleportation device. Wonka sees his invention as a candy-commercial delivery system, allowing gigantic chocolate bars to be disintegrated and reconstructed physically on television sets during programs. (The lab test humorously treats the bar as if it’s the mysterious monolith of 2001: A Space Odyssey, with the apes of the movie finally reacting to the appearance of the Wonka bar.) Wonka himself provides a naively sincere voiceover of a sample commercial. But when he’s asked about using the device for commercials selling breakfast cereals, he’s befuddled. Apparently that’s beyond the limits of his imagination.
—Posted by Gregory Solman