Time: 125 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence and Coarse Language
Meryl Streep as The Witch
Emily Blunt as The Baker’s Wife
James Corden as The Baker
Anna Kendrick as Cinderella
Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince
Tracey Ullman as Jack’s mother
Christine Baranski as Cinderella’s Stepmother
Lilla Crawford as Red Riding Hood
Daniel Huttlestone as Jack
Johnny Depp as The Wolf
Director: Rob Marshall
Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy)-all tied together by an original story involving a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them.
Musical movies can go either way for me. Even when I haven’t watched the live action versions, I liked Sweeney Todd and even Les Miserables, so I was optimistic upon starting to watch Into the Woods. Unfortunately, Into the Woods wasn’t really what I hoped the film to be and has some problems. I think that this movie is really not for me, particularly with its style, however even with some good things that helped the film from being mediocre, there are some pacing and plot parts in the story that really didn’t work for me.
The first part of the movie was fine; a lot of things were happening at the same time but I was going along with the plot. The style wasn’t for me and wasn’t one that I particularly like, a lot of the movie did feel very cheesy. Also, some of the comedy worked, other times it really failed, at least to me. I do admit that I did find it entertaining seeing a party mix of multiple fairy tales. The movie wasn’t boring, there were times that the story didn’t interest me but it at least had enough for me to keep watching. The film near the end of the second third or the first half actually felt like it’s finished; however the movie just went on longer. I know that this is part of the musical but if that was the case, they should’ve shortened the first part, or at least made it entertaining enough that we are willing to watch the next part. It felt quite long already; I lost count of how many times I checked my watch. However the actual ending did resolve everything nicely, so I’ll give some credit for that.
Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and most of the main cast were pretty good. My favourite performance was from Emily Blunt, who gave one of the more grounded performances of the movie. Johnny Depp was good in the couple of scenes he’s in but honestly, anyone could’ve played his part. At time there were some over the top characters like Cinderella’s step family with really take me out of the movie. Occasionally Chris Pine as the Prince fitted in this category as well; he did well, but he did have some over the top moments. Some characters are meant to be cheesy but at the same time there are some grounded performances, so it felt a little out of place when those characters appeared.
On the technical side, Into the Woods does really well. One of the strengths of Into the Woods is the special effects, especially whenever magic was being shown. It’s also a great looking movie, and an overall greatly shot movie. The makeup was also done very well, especially with Meryl Streep. The actors did sing well but I just wasn’t really a fan of the tunes, they sounded the same but it may be different for others who watch this movie.
If you are a big musical fan (or fans of the Into the Woods musical) then chances are that you are going to like Into the Woods more than I did. I was disappointed with Into the Woods but I have a feeling that it’s just not my sort of movie. I know of a lot of people who really enjoyed the film. So if the film still looks appealing to you, I say check it out and see for yourself. If you don’t like musicals, Into the Woods won’t change your minds.