Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Movie Stats & Links
Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron
Dreamworks/ Paramount Pictures
||Only if you want
them to be a murderous barber.
||Only if she likes
musicals. I mean, really likes musicals.
||Only boobs almost
popping out of dresses.
||Sweeney's a demon
barber and the movie is rated R. Yup, a lot of throat
||John Logan, Laurie MacDonald,
Walter F. Parkes, Richard Zanuck
First let me start this review by saying Stu Gotz and I
are planning on doing an animated review of "Sweeney Todd:
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" as our next episode of
"Stu & The Dude Reviewiní the Movies for You!", but if that
episode develops how I envision it in my head, well, it
probably wonít be posted until about the third week in
January. As such I thought I would do a written review of
the movie in the meantime. If you want to know when our
animated review is done, feel free to subscribe to our RSS
feed using the chiclets in the above left corner. Yay!
The Demon Barber
of Fleet Street
A Movie Review
Now, to my written review.
"Sweeney Todd: TDBoFS" is a film adaptation of the
Stephen Sondheimís Broadway musical, and for this movie we
get Johnny Depp as Sweeney, and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs.
Lovett. It seems that about 15 years ago, in the happiest
days of his life, Sweeney was Benjamin Barker, a great
barber with a hot wife, Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly), and new
daughter, Johanna. But the evil Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman)
wanted Lucy so he sent Ben away for a bogus crime, Lucy
poisons herself, the Judge takes Johanna for his own, and
then Benjamin returns, thanks in part to Anthony (Jamie
Campbell Bower), with Ben changing his name to Sweeney Todd.
He discovers Mrs. Lovett, a creepy woman serving crappy meat
pies, and he is now looking to accomplish only a few things,
especially after finding out his wife poisoned herself,
namely get his revenge on the bad Judge and reunite himself
with his daughter. Now in cahoots with Mrs. Lovett, who
needs cheap, fresh meat to expand her meat pie business,
Sweeney, with the help of his trusty straight razor, starts
killing off lots of folks who wonít be missed, yet
constantly keeping his eye on his prize Ė killing the bad
In the meantime Anthony has fallen in love with the older
Johanna, who, at 15ish years old, has a large rack (sorry, I
couldnít help but notice, and the older Johanna is played by
Jayne Wisener who is actually 20 years old now, so I donít
feel that bad), and the Judge, being creepy, decides he
wants to marry her as well. Ramped up in his revenge mode so
Turpin canít have Johanna, Sweeney, using Anthony, comes up
with a plan to free Johanna and trick the Judge to his
barber chair, and as things go, they donít always go as
planned, thanks in part to the youngin, Toby (Ed Sanders).
Boo hoo! This movie, which is really a tragedy in theatrical
terms, does not have a happy ending.
And you know what, all of this happens, and more, as a
Yup, everyone in the movie sings, some of them dance, and
for the most part it takes a lot for me to like a musical on
the movie screen, and "Sweeney Todd: TDBoFS" didnít do it.
In fact, I really didnít like the movie at all.
What didnít I like? Well, for starters, the musical
thing. If Tim Burton and the movie folks would have booted
the singing and kept the movie as a straight-laced, creepy,
horror film, I think I would have loved it. Sure, Johnny
Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and the rest of the folks sang
nicely and all, but for me the singing just took away from
the story. Also, I didnít like the over-the-top gore for
Sweeneyís killings. Fine, Iíve never witnessed a throat
slashing with a straight razor, but the blood looked fake,
the spurting blood came across as waaaaayyyyyy excessive and
not realistic, so for the me the killings looked, well,
fake. And as much the Anthony in love with Johanna plotline
was necessary to get the bad Judge back into the barber
chair, it just seemed stupid.
What did I like? The movie looked great, in the Tim
Burton fashion we love. It was dark, it was creepy, it
brought in color when needed, but for the most part kept
most things in shades of gray. And even though they sang a
lot, I did think Johnny Depp and the rest of the cast did
great, especially when they werenít singing.
In wrapping up I look at the many accolades being
bestowed on "Sweeney Todd: TDBoFS," and this is one of those
movies that makes me wonder what might be wrong with me
because as I am writing this review, on the Rotten Tomatoes
website, the movie is 87% Fresh with an average rating of
7.9 out of 10, or 4 stars out of 5 on my scale, and over on
IMDB itís got an average rating of 8.5 out of 10. But for me
I can only squeeze out 1 Ĺ stars out of 5 for "Sweeney Todd:
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." Maybe itís just me, but I
still have a hard time transplanting musicals from the stage
to the silver screen. Had I seen the thing on Broadway I
probably would have liked it, but on my movie screen I just
didnít like it.
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!!