2 hours, 5 minutes
PG Parental Guidance Suggested.
for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material
Anna Kendrick ...
Daniel Huttlestone ...
James Corden ...
Emily Blunt ...
Christine Baranski ...
Tammy Blanchard ...
Lucy Punch ...
Tracey Ullman ...
Meryl Streep ...
|This is a mash-up of several different Grimm fairy tales, which include "Rapunzel",
"Jack and the Beanstalk", "Cinderella", and "Little Red Riding Hood",
all interweaving with a central plot about the Baker and the Baker's
Wife (James Cordon and Emily Blunt), a couple who seek to end their
curse of being childless, which was placed upon them by the Witch (Meryl
Streep). The Witch offers them a chance to bear a child if they can
collect several items; these items in turn are all related to the other
fairy tale characters.
Almost all of the actors are excellent in
their roles, and surprisingly, their singing is pretty good. Meryl
Streep carries the movie, and her singing
doesn't feel cheesy or forced. Also, her makeup and prosthetics are top
notch, and really proves why ugly witches are still the best in movies. James Cordon and Emily Blunt are quite good in their roles, and have a fair share of
funny moments. Anna Kendrick and Mackenzie Mauzie are adequate as
Cinderella and Rapunzel, but ultimately their characters feel a little
Chris Pine is surprisingly excellent as
Cinderella's Prince, and his duet "Agony" with Billy Magnussen as
Rapunzel's Prince is easily a one of the highlights of the film.
Surprisingly, Johnny Depp is decent as the Wolf, and his scenes with Red
Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) manage to keep their dark and humorous
themes intact. Finally, Daniel Huttlestone does an excellent job as Jack.
The final third of Into the Woods feels pretty rushed, and like
the stage musical, it feels like a section that was added just to turn what is
supposed to be a happy ending, into a bittersweet one. Also, while most
of the sets and costumes, including the Wolf are excellent, some
exterior special effects like the beanstalk, and the Princes' castle didn't
look so good, which is disappointing since the rest of the effects
and sets are of such a high quality.
Overall, Into the Woods is
an adaptation from a Broadway musical that really works. The songs are catchy, the choreography is well done, and
the the performances are consistently funny. With the exception of a
lackluster final act, this is probably the best adaptation of a Stephen Sondheim
musical that we could possibly get, and I commend director Rob Marshall ("Chicago") and his cohorts for
their fine work.
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