“Into The Woods” Movie Review

INTO THE WOODS -- Famous fairy tale characters and celebrities come together in one movie.

INTO THE WOODS -- Famous fairy tale characters and celebrities come together in one movie.

For those who grew up loving classic fairy tales and Disney sing-alongs, “Into The Woods”, directed by Rob Marshell, is a childhood dream come true. This film, adapted from a musical of the same name, follows the story of a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who are tasked by a witch (Meryl Streep) to find four magical items which will reverse a curse that prevents the couple from bearing a child. The four magical items are to be obtained from famous fairy tale characters. Cinderella’s slipper of gold (Cinderella played by Anna Kendrick), Jack’s milky white cow (Jack played by Daniel Huttlestone), Red Riding Hood’s cape as red as blood (Red Riding Hood played by Lilla Crawford), and Rapunzel’s golden hair (Rapunzel played by Mackenzie Mauzy) are the items they desperately need to find and deliver to the witch before the passing of three midnights.

Because this was such an intriguing, creative idea for a film, “Into The Woods” received oodles of hype. Many moviegoers excitingly bolted to theaters and packed the seats to enjoy this sought-after film, but many of them left feeling irritable and dissatisfied. The cast was well chosen and their acting was spot-on, but it was the poor directing that nearly ruined this filmed.

For one, the songs were boring. They all seemed to have the same slow tone throughout the film, and they almost never picked up. There was an abundance of unused potential and talent. The songs were simply too long and dragged on for no reason.

As the songs dragged on, so did the film. “Into The Woods” is over two hours long, and it took over half of that time for the story to finally get better. At that point the film took a quick, dark turn and a fight scene erupted, although the fight was not as exciting as it could have been. (At this point in the film, many people began to get up and leave early.) There were a few thrilling special effects, but not enough.

The movie is rated PG, but it contains some wicked moments. For example, as Little Red Riding Hood is making her renowned walk through the woods to grandmother’s house, she encounters the bloodthirsty Wolf (Johnny Depp). In this scene, many would describe the wolf’s interaction with young Riding Hood as pedophilic. There are many lines that contain clear pedophilia/rape undertones. Children may not understand this, but adults do, and it is not funny or appropriate.

The film does have some redeemable qualities, though. There are a few great laughs and some hilarious scenes – in one, two princes (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen) pour their hearts out in a dramatic sing-off to prove which one of them is more emotionally distraught in a song titled “Agony”. “Agony” was one of the best parts of the whole film. All the characters have their silly little quirks, and those helped make the movie bearable.

Metracritic gives this movie a 6.6 out of ten, and Rotten Tomatoes also gives it a 6.6 out of ten. The Central Digest Recommends “Into The Woods” to anyone looking for a twisted yet quirky film.