{Movie Review} Into the Woods

January 12, 2015 Movie Review 27 ★★★½

three-half-stars

MV5BMTY4MzQ4OTY3NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjM5MDI3MjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Title: Into the Woods
Rating: PG
Running Time: 125 min
Genre: Adventure |  Comedy | Fantasy
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine

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.

My Review:

I’m a broadway musical/show tunes lover, so I’m always on Pandora or Spotify looking for new musicals to listen to. One day, I’m listening to Pandora like I always am when I’m studying, and all of a sudden I hear “Once upon a time, in a far-off kingdom”, and from that moment I just knew that Into the Woods was my newest musical obsession.

I’ve been waiting for this movie for so long. Ever since there were rumors for it to be released came out, I’ve been obsessed. Since I hadn’t seen the original musical, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was expecting a whole lot.

Now, I wouldn’t say this movie was particularly bad, because it’s not. It’s just… not at all what I expected. I thought this would be a movie blending different classic fairy tales, and making them come together seamlessly, but it seemed something much different.

The storyline of the movie is rather frantic and spotty. Everything seems to be going on at the same time, which means you have to be extra observant and attentive to what you’re watching. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except that the movie itself tried to throw the viewers out of the loop by convoluting all the major plot lines. This movie wanted to deceive you and play clever, which it sometimes did and sometimes did not.

To be honest this movie was a solid 4 star until it reached the last act. That very last act threw everything out of perspective and ripped any enjoyment I may have felt for it at first. All the character development? Gone. Plot elements that had resolved themselves? Not anymore. Everything felt as if there were extra drama added to the mix “just because”.

into-the-woods-see-all-the-characters-in-new-moving-posters

I will not lie, though. I loved every single character in this movie, except maybe Chris Pine’s Prince Charming because, he was a bit too Charming, something that came off as fake and overacted in comparison with Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella or Daniel Huttlestone’s Jack. This movie was amazingly casted; I was surprised at James Corden and Emily Blunt’s characters (Baker & Baker’s Wife) specifically because I had no idea they sang so well. Meryl Streep of course did an awesome job as the witch; she definitely brought that aura of malice, and magic the movie needed. (Do not ask me about Johnny Depp. I’m still trying to bleach my brain to forget his part in the movie. It was super creepy)

I also loved the music. I left the theater and immediately went to iTunes to hear the soundtrack again. I think the music is brilliantly produced and all the voices really shine. I find myself still humming the tunes because they’re so damn catchy.

The setting is beautiful. Forget crappy CGI and unbelievable green screen; Disney always goes above and beyond with settings and this movie was no different.

 

Overall, the movie does succeed in promoting the message be careful what you wish for, and has a brilliant soundtrack, wonderful acting, and breathtaking cinematography. However in its effort to out-clever and confuse the spectators, it convolutes the storyline to the point where it’s difficult to follow and will leave you at the end of the movie thinking “what did I just see?”.

**Note, I’ve been told that the original play isn’t much different, so I guess I wouldn’t enjoy that one much, either. 

Rating Report
Plot
three-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Pacing
three-stars
Romance
four-stars
Overall: 3.6

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I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome.
  • I skipped your review, but I just wanted to let you know that I am seeing this movie! <3

  • I sooooo want to watch this!

  • Samantha Fabris

    I agree with all of your thoughts. Going into this, I actually didn’t know it was based off of a stage musical, lol. And as I was watching it I was thinking that it felt like the pacing of a stage play. It was cute, but I didn’t absolutely love it.

    • Maybe if I had seen it on stage I would’ve appreciated it better? I dunno. But yeah, I didn’t fall head over heels for it, it was just good.

  • Haha, isn’t Johnny Depp always creepy?! XD Ah, but I love his style and acting. I would like to see this, but I confess to not being the world’s largest musical theater fan. 🙁 SO I don’t know if I should risk it or not….

    • Johnny’s creep factor increased like by a thousand in this one xD I don’t know what I can say; I really enjoyed it and the music was really good but if you’re not a musical theater fan.. wait until it comes out on DVD? xD

  • Oh my gosh!! How did I miss this? And Anna Kendrick!!! Love her. Great review, Marianne. I’ll definitely watch this one

  • That is so disappointing! I am not a huge fan of movies that try and be all ~smart, and then just end up annoying me (*cough*Inception*cough*). I do so love musicals, though, so I am definitely going to see it. Plus Disney cinematography is always something to marvel at.

    Now I am really interested in Johnny Depp’s role! What was so creepy about it?

  • Ohh wow. I’ve never been through a movie festival like that, lol. Even if it wasn’t a 5 star, it was still pretty good. And Johnny Depp’s character was interesting when on screen… but creepy too. And the creepy won out xD

  • Maybe it isn’t a letdown for you?

  • Yes! The music is awesome!

  • Yes, go watch it! Just because I didn’t completely love it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • Melanie Z

    AHHHH CHRIS PINE *HEART EYES* It’s a shame that you found him to be overly charming–I totally get why that would put you off. I’m glad that you enjoyed this one overall, Marianne!

    Fantastic review! I’m so excited about this move eep >.<

    • My first reaction was heart eyes, too xD But I guess my expectations kind of ruined him for me. YES BE EXCITED. The music is great and it’s overall a really good movie.

  • I don’t watch many movies but when I seen Johnny Depp and what looked like a dark fairy tale retelling, I was dying to see it. But it doesn’t sound like he plays any sort of pivotal role at all actually. I assumed he was the main star going by the trailer they’ve shown in Australia. The ending sounds horrid. Why did they mess around with it!

    Awesome review, thinking of waiting until it comes out on DVD might be a safer bet for me actually.

    • Johnny’s role is not as important as the rest of the cast, despite that it was marketed extensively with him. Well I don’t know, I could be a black sheep here! haha.

  • This is actually my theater’s spring show, so I was super excited to see that it was turned into a movie adaption! While it isn’t one of my favorite musicals, I think the movie adaption was solid and that it captured the spirit of the musical quite nicely. I completely agree with everything you’ve said though. The movie almost felt a bit too long – it would have been better if it ended at the 1st act and split that act up instead. And the casting & setting was pheonominal, wasn’t it? 😀 I absolutely loved Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep’s performances; they all did absolutely fantastic. Thanks for sharing Marianne, and, as always, fabulous review! <3

  • Rachel

    I have been terribly curious about Into The Woods for years, but based on yours and other people’s reviews, I think that I will wait until I have an opportunity to see the musical rather than possibly ruining it for myself by watching and disliking the movie. I never enjoy movie adaptions of plays as much as the actual play.
    I love complicated plots though, so I am not particularly worried about that aspect.

  • That’s a real shame about the ending! I hate when that happens in books but I would be so mad if it happened like that in the movie! Looks like I probably shouldn’t get up to take bathroom breaks in the theater then, I don’t want to miss anything, especially if it’s already somewhat hard to follow. I do tend to easily fall in love with movie soundtracks, so this will probably be no exception!

    • Hahaha I didn’t dare take a bathroom break in fear that I would get lost. I am listening to the soundtrack as we speak, ha!

  • The cast does seem great and I really want to see this! So glad you enjoyed it up until the last act at least. Nice review <33