PG¦ 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD

As far as the origin story is concerned, it’s worked for the likes of Marvel and DC, with virtually every entry featuring the back story of one hero/ villain or another.

It’s no wonder then that others are keen to follow this successful formula in other genres.

With the huge success of the Paddington films, their director Paul King has turned to another screen icon, producing a prequel to the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, featuring the origin story to that particular titular character.

boom reviews Wonka
This The Apprentice candidate went all out on the chocolate selling task.

Arriving in a grand town in Europe is young Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet). Willy is a dreamer, with a passion for making chocolate, and feels he has come to the right place with the Gallery Gourmet in town, that produces only the finest of chocolate.

Unfortunately for Willy, there are three rival chocolatiers in town, Slugworth (Peterson Joseph), Prodnose (Matt Lucas) and Fickel Gruber (Matthew Baynton), who instantly decide to consort together to bring Wonka down, and burst his chocolate bubble.

boom reviews  Wonka
I'm considered such a liability in Hollywood now, this is the only way they'll let me perform. I blame Divine Brown...

With the Paddington films, British director King brought back a nostalgic taste for twee and charming comedies of old, which he continues here.

Chalamet is utterly adorable as Wonka, with the kind of performance where you can see a natural path from his Wonka to Gene Willder’s.

The film is brimming with British talent too, and even features a song and dance number by comedian Phil Wang, with the only obvious omissions being a Demetriou or two. And then you have Hugh Grant as the film’s solitary Oompa Loompa, doing what Grant continues to do of late, which is steal the show.

So far, so very sweet a treat.

Unfortunately, it also claims to be a musical, which is never a good thing. Despite having sharp lyricist Neil Hannon, of The Divine Comedy fame on board – as he was so acutely with his “National Express” top ten hit in 1999 – the musical numbers are on the dreary side. It’s also disappointing that there are no elaborate musical numbers, harking back to classic Hollywood set pieces that the setting is crying out for.

And then you have the story, which is woefully generic, in much the same way King’s Paddington films are, with your protagonist facing adversity from a dastardly villain, or in this case, three of them. By the end of it, it certainly loses its flavour, resulting in being disappointingly bland.

Even Grant’s involvement feels crow-barred in, as do a few others for the sake of a comedic cameo.

The final nail comes in the film also being far too long, at just a nibble short of two hours, unnecessarily stretching out a sugar wafer thin plot as it is.

It’s colourful and cute enough to satiate the appetite of a younger audience, but it’s a bit like cheap chocolate itself, a short term fix with empty calories.

we give this three out of five