Allow me to start things off by saying I have never seen the stage version of Into The Woods. I’m not a big fan of theater but I do enjoy a play or musical from time to time. I was a big fan of the movie Chicago, so that allowed me to go into this film with some optimism. Sadly I wasn’t very impressed.
I don’t know if he was totally to blame but it seemed to me that Rob Marshall really dropped the ball in his directorial duties. A lot of the emotion that he was able to get from the actors in Chicago was missing in this film. I also felt that the pacing of the film was off. By the time the movie was half over I started to wonder how much longer it would be until it was done. I don’t know about you but I never want to be looking at the time while watching a movie. All I can really say is that Into The Woods felt more like two movies butted up against each other than one cohesive film.
For the most part I really enjoyed the casting. My one exception was Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood. I thought that she was annoying and her acting was a distraction from the movie. Maybe that was another fault of the director, or maybe that was how the character was written but I didn’t like it.
Meryl Streep did a great job as the Witch. She was the one person in the film who really portrayed emotion as she was singing. Johnny Depp was interesting as the Wolf but that’s really the best I can say about him. During his song I couldn’t help but think pedophile the whole time. That being said, he sang well. The costume choice was very odd to me as well. With all the digital effects in this movie why not make him look like a wolf instead of a confused swing dancer?Chris Pine did a good job but I’m not really sure if he was suppose to come off as comical as he did to me. I really couldn’t take him seriously at all. A friend pointed out that Chris Pine chose an interesting movie to pull out his William Shatner impression. I have to say that I agree, he did sound a bit like Shatner in this movie. As far as his singing goes I only know that it was really him because I looked it up. The whole time he was singing in the movie I wasn’t sure if he was lip-synching or not.
Anna Kendrick and Emily Blunt were both wonderful but in the end forgettable. I really hate to say that because I am a big fan of both of them but I didn’t think their characters had any depth. This is really sad because they were two of the biggest characters in the film.
I say the movie is a rental at best, but only if you really like musicals.