A witch conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children’s stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.
“Into the Woods” is a humorous and imaginative film. It’s not flawless, but it has some funny moments, including a scene in which two princes (Cinderella’s prince and Rapunzel’s prince) are over the top in singing about their love for Cinderella and Rapunzel. They attempt to be sexy as they sing and it’s hilarious at times. Johnny Depp is terrific in basically a cameo role as the Big Bad Wolf, with his plan to eat Little Red Riding Hood. In fact, all of the actors hit the right notes in the movie, including Meryl Streep as the witch, Emily Blunt as the baker’s wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Prince Charming, and Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel’s prince.
The movie would have been nearly perfect if it had stopped at the 90-minute mark. However, the last half hour of the two-hour film hampers it a bit. At the 90-minute mark, all the stories are wrapped up with a happy ending. In the last half hour, Prince Charming has an affair with the baker’s wife, although she goes back to the baker in the end and knows she was wrong. In addition, a few characters die and, well, as Prince Charming himself says, “I am charming, not sincere.” I think the affair, not to mention a few other plot points, do not serve the story at all. For example, Cinderella moves on and is once again alone. On a positive note, this talented cast can sing and there are a lot of rhyming songs, not to mention the funny scenes. It did get tiring seeing Jack’s mother (as in Jack and the Beanstalk) whack him in the head several times.
Overall this is an entertaining, funny film with a twist on various fairy tales. We are happy to award it our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages twelve plus. This movie takes you into a world of imagination as you journey “into the woods.”