Into The Woods, A Movie Review


Photo Credit: Peter Mountain

(Left to right) James Corden, Emily Blunt, and Meryl Streep (From Variety)

This was an interesting viewing experience. I went into the theater with high hopes and found myself satisfied in some moments and quite disappointed in others. To those who don’t know, this film (based upon a stage production) attempts to combine multiple classic fairy tales into one storyline, linking together Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and others. My hope and expectation was that this would either be a grittier retelling of these classical tales or a spoof along the lines of Shrek.

It was a great idea, but poorly put together. Parts of it were great, parts of it were weird, and parts of it made me feel as if the writers ran out of ideas or had a deadline to meet.

The special effects and production values were great. The film was very visually pleasing. The music was well orchestrated and performed. However, as with so many movies, its weakness was the writing. There were some very clever and funny moments,  but there were more than a couple points where I felt cheated, as if the writers built up the suspense only to end with a sort of “oh yeah, and, uhh, this happened” kind of attitude. Worst of all, the ending dragged on. And on. And on. And ON.

However, on the bright side, the actors were, for the most part, quite good. Emily Blunt was excellent in the role of the Baker’s Wife, the actors who played Jack and Little Red Riding Hood were talented and enthusiastic, and of course, Johnny Depp was charmingly creepy as the Wolf (come on, Johnny Depp had to be in there somewhere). However, without a doubt, the absolute high point of this movie was Chris Pine as Prince Charming. I cannot even describe how amazing he was. Here’s why: he didn’t take his role seriously. He was so wonderfully exaggerated in the way he portrayed his character, sarcastically mocking the cliché of the “handsome prince.” His costume, his voice, his mannerisms, his movements — all were performed with hilarious skill, and he pulled it off so well.  He is the main reason to see this movie. If you watch nothing else, look up his song “Agony” online. You will not regret it.

In short: interesting, worth seeing, but disappointing. Don’t go in with very high expectations.

Overall rating: 7/10