I did not want to review this movie. Why? Because I know lots of people like this Corpse Bride, and all I’m going to do is take a crap all over it. But my job has made me so busy, and I’ll be out of town this weekend, so there is not going to be very much opportunity to write until I get home. Now, get ready for me to hate on this film.
I thought this movie would be at least decent because I thought Tim Burton did a great job with Nightmare Before Christmas. But as it turns out, these days it seems that the majority of Burton’s projects is just him fawning over his three biggest obsessions: dark and creepy themes, casting his wife Helena Bonham Carter in movies, and casting the man he wants to be his wife in movies.
Much like Alice Through the Looking Glass, Corpse Bride is all style and no substance. There is no real reason why this story is happening in the first place, and there was no point in the film where I was compelled to give a damn about any of these characters.
A huge cinematic pet-peeve of mine is a story that is completely driven by the protagonist’s lack of ability to communicate his thoughts. It just seems so lazy, cheap and counterintuitive, and it really strikes me as a way for a script writer to not have to think about intelligent ways to forward the plot. Victor Van Dort is one of these characters. It was charming at first to see this timid character interact with his overbearing parents and future in-laws, but when the crux of the plot comes into play, I just felt so tired seeing this guy fail to communicate simple thoughts and desires that would have gotten him out of the mess he was in.
The reason the corpse bride even comes to life just seems so vapid and nonsensical. I was hoping there would eventually be a thoughtful, interesting explanation as to why Victor putting a ring on her skeleton brought her back to life. But nope, there is no explanation because what is really important to Tim Burton is creating kooky and creepy scenery and imagery, not creating a compelling story.
<Spoiler> And good God, the back-and-forth Victor goes through between his fiancé and the corpse bride was so obnoxious. Not even an hour after he professes his undying love for his fiancé does he decide to marry the dead girl because she shed a few tears for feeling unwanted. What an unlikable oaf this Victor guy was. In the end, he doesn’t even make the decision on his own on who he’s going to marry because he is such a pansy. The corpse bride literally has to give him up because she decided last minute that it wasn’t right or something…
And sweet heaven, the fact that the grumpy villain character was the one who murdered the corpse bride was the most predictable thing ever. It seems like no one even tried in this movie, which may explain why they were only able to make it an hour and fifteen minutes.
Also, were they ever going to explain why all the dead people suddenly were able to go back up to the real world? No? Thanks, Tim Burton. Thanks for sacrificing thought and effort for stylistic choices, you idiot. </Spoiler>
And while I enjoyed the animation style and the creepy tone throughout the movie, I was constantly bothered by how many of the characters in this film were only able to show one or two emotions successfully. The animation style is so wooden and lifeless, and it just made everything unpleasant to watch.
Also the song breaks in this movie made my ears bleed.
Every single time something happened in this movie, I kept thinking “Whyyyyyy?” It is unbelievably frustrating to see a movie where almost no thought is put into the execution of events. Every piece of dialogue, plot, and character development felt like an afterthought. It seemed like the only meaningful choices were the stylistic ones. I absolutely do not understand why people like Corpse Bride so much; maybe someone can explain it to me? Anyone? I’m all ears. Until then, I am going to brush off this unpleasant experience, and I’m giving this movie a 3 out of 10.