A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree. (IMDB)
Writers: James Lapine (screenplay), James Lapine, Stephen Sondheim (musical)
Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine
Run time/Rating: 125 Minutes/ PG
Popcorn Score: Small Popcorn.
In an interview I heard with the bubbly Anna Kendrick promoting her new Disney musical “Into the Woods” she described it as the tale after the Fairy Tale. We are all familiar with the stories of “Cinderella” “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Little Red Riding Hood” “Rapunzel” and others included in this film. She said that Into the Woods continues the story after “Happily Ever After”.
I thought that actually sounded like a cool idea. Disney launching a new (on screen) musical, the same Disney which has done some of the best musicals ever; Mary Poppins, The Lion King, Aladdin, I’ll even say Frozen! However, “Into the Woods” which is based after the stage musical with I assume the similar story, is just as terrible as all of those other musicals listed above are great. The story mixes all of those favorite fairy tales together and sends the leading couple (Emily Blunt and James Corden) into the woods to find a list of items that the evil Witch, an inconsistent Meryl Streep, requires so that she can become beautiful again while granting them the ability to have a baby. It shows flashes of potential early but is constantly muddled down by an unattached story with mixed moral messages but mostly by the awful “sing speak” songs that are the worst I have seen from a musical in years.
There was seemingly no effort to add melody to any song throughout the entire movie. There is not a catchy hook, an interesting round, a toe tapper, an enjoyable rhythm, or anything that could ever resemble a “hit” or even something good in 2 hours of original music.
After the familiar fairy tales end with their happily ever after, the dreadful song continues for another 45 minutes and in convoluted and confusing fashion proves that the stories should have stuck with their original ending. Into the Woods leaves you anything but happily ever after, more accurately, just happy that it’s over.