I first saw Sweeney Todd on a flight from Tokyo to London. I was a bit surprised that they were showing such a gory film as an in-flight movie, but it was Virgin Airlines after all. At the time I didn’t care much for it. I loved the production design, which is probably the best amongst Tim Burton’s films, which is saying a lot, since everything he makes looks so great. But the first time around I felt I could have done without the songs.
This time around the songs were what I enjoyed the most. Helena Bonham Carter is actually a fine singer and her songs are the few moments of the film that could actually be described as fun. Depp can sing, but his voice is never especially full or powerful. My biggest complaint about his performance is the same problem I had with Benicio Del Toro in the The Wolfman and Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes. All three American actors seem to think that everyone mumbled in Victorian England and evidentially enrolled in David Duchovny’s School of Enunciation to prepare for their roles. With Depp brooding with a mouthful of mush, Sasha Baron Cohen is able to come in and steals the show in a small role.