Review by Lynn resident Steve Duffy –
Into The Woods is an adaptation of the beloved and dark 1987 musical from Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. The story follows a few iconic fairy tale characters whose worlds collide in an enchanted woods, all hoping to find their happily ever after.
Cinderella (Kendrick) dreams of going to the ball, hoping she will meet her handsome Prince Charming (Chirs Pine). The main plot surrounds Sondheim and Lapine’s creation for the play and film with the childless baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who must collect several odd items for the evil witch (Streep) in order to have a curse lifted off them. Also, weaving through the woods, are Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), the big bad wolf (Johnny Depp), and Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), who trades his cow for some magic beans. There is also a major plot twist that involves Rapunzel (Mackenzine Mauzy).
What makes this fairytale mash-up bearable are the actors. Meryl Streep is perfectly entertaining as the Wicked Witch. Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen’s duet of “Agony” was the highlight of the film for me. Christine Baranski is having a grand ole time as Cinderella’s evil stepmother. I did find Depp’s Big Bad Wolf’s hunger for Red Riding Hood a little too creepy and inappropriate.
This is definitely not a happily ever after kind of fairytale, but anyone who has read any of the Brothers Grimm fairytales will already know this. Director Rob Marshall does create a more Disney-like spin on it, but it still ends up being a little less magical then what you would expect from a Disney film.
PG-13 for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material
Run Time: 2 hr. 5 min.