Into the Woods

Into the Woods

(2014)

Walt Disney fairytale, fantasy musical – from the director of Chicago – starring Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine. Follows the tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel, all tied together by a baker and his wife and their wish to begin a family. Into the Woods is based on the stage musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd), which premiered on Broadway in 1987.

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Flicks Review

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s delightfully grisly 1987 musical Into The Woods is the latest to get a big screen adaptation. Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) and James Corden (One ChanceBegin Again) star as ye olde baker and wife, sent on a journey to retrieve items from the woods by the village Witch (Meryl Streep in almost-boringly fantastic form). There, their story collides with Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella in a tangled web of fantasy and reality.... More

Into the Woods sets up the usual fairy tale tropes then tries to circumvent them. As well as the big musical numbers (Sondheim’s songbook is incredible, although perhaps a bit old fashioned for kids), the film is peppered with thoughtful musings on the nature of good vs evil and what happens after the ‘ever after’, winky references to Disney clichés, and characters that veer between human and cartoonish. It reintroduces many of the original Grimm’s Tales’ darker elements, such as Cinderella’s stepsisters cutting off heels and toes to fit their feet in the glass slipper. I wish it had followed through on that premise further. With the film lacking commitment to any one approach, it seems unable to decide if it is a return to the core material, a modern fairy tale with relatable characters or a self-aware satire.

There are plenty of laughs to be had, the highlights being a precocious Red Riding Hood and two Price Charmings competing in a duet about who is suffering the most agony for their love. Ultimately the film belongs to the divine Ms. Streep, who is by turns funny, vulnerable, philosophical and terrifying as the Witch. The true magic of the film is hers entirely.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 5 ratings, 5 reviews
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BY thorinoak superstar

Some great numbers, particularly Chris Pine's sing off, but ultimately the story lets it down. Corden and Blunt are a delight.


BY ems superstar

Songs were so repetitive.


BY Gaspardation superstar

The fact that I dislike every song in it already proves my point.


BY RealityCheck superstar

I was suckered into watching this, not realising it was in fact a musical. Like 'The Little Shop of Horrors' with the story line and setting of 'Snow White and the Huntsman' 'Jack the Giant Slayer' and obvious others. Once I managed to succumb to the songs and forget the short-comings of a musical nature, I actually enjoyed it. To me it seemed thrown together and a little disjointed with all the storylines woven like 'Iron Fists'.
Genre : Musical, adventure, fantasy
3/5 : I want to give it less... More really based on the underselling of it being a musical. Still, was an ok watch if you get passed that (or enjoy musicals).Hide


This should not have been as bad as it was given the cast. It just couldn't make the leap from stage to silver screen. Meryl and Anna Kendrick were stand outs but Johnny Depp was truly awful and Chris Pine was seriously channelling William Shatner when 'singing'. It couldn't decide if it wanted to be a parody or a musical so missed both.


The Press Reviews

72% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • This twisty fairy-tale mash-up shows an appreciation for the virtues of old-fashioned storytelling, along with a welcome dash of subversive wit. Full Review

  • Trapped between the stage and the screen, at odds with both its source material and its adopted medium. Full Review

  • Marshall hasn’t made one of the great movie musicals here, but he hasn’t bungled it either — far from it. Full Review

  • Yet amid the cleverness and the wickedly subversive tilt they take, there's an affectionate regard for all of their characters. Full Review

  • There are brilliant, bewitching moments allied to hilarious and touching ones. Just not enough of them in what veers, at length, between the clever, the terrifying and the bit tiring. Full Review

  • Splendid Disney screen adaptation... infuses new vitality into the tired marketing concept of entertainment for "children of all ages." Full Review

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