Burton’s superb take on Stephen Sondheim’s musical does the expected hack-and-slash to the material (only second-act opener “God, That’s Good” suffers) and to the characters (the bodies pile up fast and furious). But in doing so it achieves a primal power comparable to David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1985). It’s an unexpected gut punch and the director’s best since Mars Attacks! (1996).
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