Favorite

Review: Into the Woods 

into-the-woods-05.jpg

INTO THE WOODS

**1/2

It’s telling that the first two actors director Rob Marshall reportedly cast in the screen version of the stage smash Into the Woods were Meryl Streep as the Witch and Johnny Depp as the Wolf.

Subscribing to the Ridley Scott mantra that global superstars are more important to a film than finding the perfect performers for the right roles, Marshall bypassed the great Bernadette Peters (the Witch in the 1987 Broadway version, and only a year older than Streep) for an actress who at this point would get nominated by everyone for simply flossing (which explains the ass-kissing SAG and Globe noms for an OK performance) and bypassed, well, every male in Hollywood for an actor who has devolved into a mugging caricature no longer capable of surprising or even engaging us.

Move past the marquee names, however, and the other players adeptly take us through this revisionist take on age-old fairy tales. As the bumbling baker and his sensible wife, James Corden and Emily Blunt are affable protagonists, while Anna Kendrick again displays her professional singing chops (as she did in Pitch Perfect) as Cinderella.

Daniel Huddlestone and Lilla Crawford, the kids cast as Jack (of beanstalk fame) and Red Riding Hood, hold their own against the older cast members, and Chris Pine, the most amusing person in Horrible Bosses 2, is even funnier as the vain prince smitten with Cinderella.

The production looks handsome, but Marshall’s direction renders it all a bit stiff, with no real blood behind the proceedings, and the deficiencies in the original source material are present and actually amplified here (Wicked is far more clever in its revisionist take on classic fantasy tropes).

In the battle of the season’s two musicals, Into the Woods will trump Annie for a number of reasons, but on balance, I’ll take the latter’s heart over the former’s art.

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Into the Woods

Favorite

More by Matt Brunson

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect Today 03.23.2017

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Review: Beauty and the Beast
  • Review: Beauty and the Beast

    The plot remains fundamentally unchanged from the ’91 model, and the narrative diversions that have been added along the way are acceptable and sometimes even manage to enhance particular points from its predecessor.
    • Mar 21, 2017
  • Review: Logan
  • Review: Logan

    The film is crucially missing a worthy villain of note – and when the scripters run out of ideas, they paraphrase Stephen Sondheim and elect to send in the clones. This latter decision renders the action sequences even more rote and less interesting.
    • Mar 7, 2017
  • Review: A United Kingdom
  • Review: A United Kingdom

    As is often the case with historical sagas, the picture relegates lots of fascinating material into a few blocks of text at the end, giving short shrift to the subsequent accomplishments of two people who refused to be defined merely by their physical appearances.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • More »

The Most: Read | Shared | Comments

Movies This Week

More Filmtimes

or

Right Now On: Twitter | Facebook

Copyright © 2017, Connect Savannah. All Rights Reserved.
Website powered by Foundation