Into the Woods (2014) Review

Verdict: Fun

A fun film with brilliant acting.


Based on the musical by James Lapine (who also wrote the screenplay), Into the Woods tells of a story that combines four different fairy tales; Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Rapunzel (Mazkenzie Mauzy), Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and the bean stock, and Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford). The story centres around a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) as they try to reverse a curse put by the witch (Meryl Streep) that prevents them from conceiving a child. Also in this is Johnny Depp as the wolf, and Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince. Directed by Rob Marshall.

The cast in this is phenomenal. So many stars and they all did brilliantly. I had not known that this was based on a musical and was thinking there were too many songs in this, but now it makes sense. The songs complimented the story well, and the voices were quite pleasing to the ear. I really enjoyed the song ‘Agony’ as well as ‘Children will listen”. The orchestra especially, created wonderful music that enhanced the atmosphere of the scenes.

The acting too was magnificent, and I just about loved everyone in this film. Jack did seem a bit young though, but his voice and acting was good. I also really enjoyed Lilla Crawford’s performance of Red Riding Hood. Her personality shined through and she brought about a few laughs. Johnny Depp doesn’t appear for very long on screen, but as usual, his character showed his quirkiness. All the other actors and actresses were great too, two thumbs up.

However, I’m not quite sure why I did not really like the character of Rapunzel. Maybe it was the actress or the fact that she didn’t really do much, but I found her a little irritating. Especially when she kept repeating ‘no’, I got a little annoyed at that.

Rob Marshall did a great job in combining all the stories so intricately and it was really cool to watch it unfold on screen. The story itself is pretty engaging, though around the middle it seemed to lag and the end felt like too many things were happening. Probably because they wrapped up one fairy tale at the beginning and then the three others along with the main story of the baker had to be concluded at the end. Would have been nicer to conclude some of the others along the way, that would’ve left the middle bit flowing much better too.

Also, maybe the story is like this, but I felt that that they deliberately added some cheesiness to it, which did make it comedic but in the way that lame jokes are funny. It was a fun film though.

The effects were well done and the set and costumes were all very on point. I’ve read that Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine actually got lost on the set of the woods because it was so large. Wow. The overall feel of the film felt a little expressionistic and was definitely too dark to be a children’s movie. I was a little surprised, especially since some of the songs were not suited for kids. This really is more of a film for older kids and adults.

To sum-up:
PROS: Cast, directing, effects, fun story
CONS: Bit slow in middle, too many things at the end

I give this a 7/10.

Have you watched Into the Woods? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below.


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