As much as I’m tiring of the “same old” and very familiar partnership that is actor director combo Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, Dark Shadows is the best I’ve seen emerge from this relationship in some years. But still it’s incredibly samey. Johnny Depp plays his typical and very safe role with qualities familiar throughout all his characters caught with Burton’s lens. And Burton himself delivers a narrative and style pretty much the way he always does. He’s got that quirky, dark, humorous tone, with oddball characters down to a t. But with Dark Shadows it really works. I really enjoyed Depp’s performance instead of my usual rolling of the eyes when I realised this was just another Johnny Depp playing Johnny Depp performance. His dry wit and often overly animated performance is perfect for such a film.
But Dark Shadows isn’t just another Depp centred feature, instead it’s a story with a family of engaging characters; each bringing with them some level of intrigue and mystery. It’s a great cast, a family of oddballs, and dysfunctional beings that include Chloë Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jackie Earle Haley, not to forget a most bewitching performance from Eva Green whose bosom deserves it’s very own mention.
It’s a refreshingly light-hearted film from Burton based on the 1970’s American TV series of the same name, and although I haven’t seen it yet and in fact had never heard of it before the release of Tim Burton’s adaptation, I’m definitely going to add it to the list of series I have to get into.
Dark Shadows has restored my faith in Tim Burton and Johnny Depp as a director/actor combo, and while I’d love to see them venture out on more individual projects I do look forward to seeing what they collaborate on next.