Into the Woods holds a fond place in my heart. In grade school I played the The Wolf in our production of Part 1. So all though I am probably not the target audience, I was very excited for the motion picture adaption of the Broadway play. I remembered my entire solo, and was very pleased with Johnny Depp’s portrayal of The Wolf made famous by me.
Into the Woods stars an ensemble cast of Meryl Street, Emily Blunt, James Cordon, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, and Mackenzie Mauzy. It tells the tale of multiple classic Grimm Fairy Tales with a twist that brings them all together. When a Baker (Cordon) and his wife (Blunt) are told by a witch (Streep) that to lift the curse on their family they must travel into the woods to retrieve the items she needs. While on their journey they come across Little Red Riding Hood (Crawford) Jack (Huttlestone) and his cow, and Cinderella (Kendrick) who is on the run from her Prince (Pine).
I really enjoyed the film. While I’m not one for musicals, I think my small historic connection to the film drew me to it. The cast is phenomenal. There are a few I don’t know, like Cordon, Crawford, and Huttlestone, but they are wonderful. Especially Crawford who plays Little Red. She was so fun to watch on screen and such delight. Chris Pine was a surprise, I wasn’t aware he could sing. All though not the best by any means, he was still really good. Depp plays a small part as The Wolf, but he does it well, and very creepy. Meryl Streep, well she’s Meryl Streep. She is always incredible. However, with the talk of Oscar buzz for her I have to say, this was not an Oscar performance. Just a very good performance.
The story is fun, and it’s cool to see these characters of my childhood intertwine and mix together. The music is as catchy as I remember and draws you into the story. The problem of the film lies in the second act. I always wondered why my school only did the first act, and now I know. The film seems to wrap up perfectly around the 90 minute mark and you think happily ever after has arrived, then all of a sudden it takes a left turn into act II and goes a little off the deep end for another 45 minutes. The characters seem to lose something that made them all special, and even one storyline involving Rapunzel and her Prince is left leaving the audience confused. It is as if they expected us to not really care about them.
The score and sound is of the charts. This is a film you probably want to see in the theater for the sound quality alone. There’s a thunderous effect they add anytime the Witch appears or disappears from screen and it is booming. And the cinematography is beautiful. It is not the top of the game as far as effects go, but it just beautiful to see on screen.
So all in all Into the Woods is a very fun film, and worth your money to see in theaters. I gave it a 4.2 with of .3 for having Johnny Depp play a role made famous by myself, giving Into the Woods a Jeebus score of 4.5, a Good time at the theater.