Into The Woods
Talent is cobbled together to create a giant mess!
Meryl Streep plays a Witch who has placed a curse upon the family of a Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) wherein the Baker and Wife cannot have children. The Witch is willing to remove the curse if the Baker and his Wife are able to obtain four objects: a red cape, a white cow, yellow hair and a gold slipper.
"Hopefully there are no half man/half wolf pedophile Johnny Depp
lookalikes with a penchant for underage girls with picnic baskets
lurking in these woods."
During this time, the owners of the other objects begin to live out the fairy tales that you have read in books. Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) and her cape are on their way to grandmother's house with a basket full of goodies only to be interrupted by The Big Bad Wolf (Johnny Depp). Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy) spends her days locked in a tower while being secretly visited by a Prince (Billy Magnussen). Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) is on his way to town to sell his beloved cow while Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) struggles continues to lead on her Prince (Chris Pine) and leaving him with a serious case of blue balls.
All these characters meet and intersect "into the woods" as they each have their reasons for crossing through the title. Eventually, in what would seem like the film beginning to wind down, The Baker and his Wife gather the objects desired by the Witch to have the curse removed. Surprisingly, the film continues onward for a long portion of time and leads past all of the characters living out their "happy endings".
Watching the characters go through their happy endings and finding out that everything does not end well could be an interesting idea. Unfortunately, the film doesn't really follow through with following the characters beyond where the fairy tale ends. What we get instead is a race against time with the characters teaming up to stop a threat coming down to the woods. Any hope that might have survived for something interesting quickly fades and we are reduced to a bland and boring second half of the film.
Not to say the first half of the film was something to write home about. Into the Woods has a star-studded cast, yet no one seems to hit the notes the characters need for this type of film. Meryl Streep is having a lot of fun, but her Witch is never menacing. Johnny Depp's brief appearance as The Wolf is highly disappointing as The Wolf comes off as just a pedophile version of Johnny Depp with painted on whiskers. James Corden tries to step up and hold the film as the Baker, but Rob Marshall's bland directing and surprisingly ugly set design keep the film bogged down; never allowing Into the Woods to get any momentum going.
Johnny Depp molesting this tree is still more watchable than 'Mortdecai'.
It's a shame, as there is a good idea to be had with Into the Woods. Unfortunately, that idea lays dormant and we are instead treated to an uninspired film that wastes a perfectly good cast.