Despite its amazing visual style, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride is never as original or engaging as it should be. It flounders through its first hour with a never-ending stream of throwaway gags about its undead characters losing body parts. Things pick up towards the end, though with a running time of only 76 minutes, the film ends just as the audience starts to get interested in the characters.

Voicing the characters are a bunch of Burton regulars, including Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (fulfilling their contractual obligations to be in everything that Burton ever makes). Alas, the strength of all of Burton's films rarely lies in character or story but rather in the design of the world that he creates. In this respect, Corpse Bride does not disappoint. The look of the world of the living and the dead is superb -- from the bell-shaped town crier, ringing off the day's events, to the lair of the underworld's wise man, with towers of books serving as walls. The film might be worth seeing just for its unquestionably beautiful look. However, there isn't much here for those who care little about production design and art direction.


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