Movie Review: Into the Woods (2014) – a surprisingly well done film!

Published On January 6, 2015 » 1743 Views» By Essa »

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Into the Woods is one of the highest budget fantasy movies of the winter and it’s already grossed about $31 million, while holding the number 2 spot at the box office. In addition to that, it’s also pleasing critics and is certified fresh on the popular movie site Rotten Tomatoes, which is high praise indeed.

Into the Woods is a retelling and modernization of multiple fairy tales. This heartfelt musical follows Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone) and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) as they help a baker and his wife fight an evil witch played by Meryl Streep.

I’m not usually one for musicals. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only musical I’ve ever liked is The Book of Mormon and that hardly counts. Regardless, I decided to give this one a shot and I have to say I was more than pleased.

The acting was first-class. There is literally no one in this movie that didn’t pull their weight and really drag watchers into the story. Little Red Riding Hood is precocious, Cinderella is idealistic and Meryl Streep is delightfully evil and quirky. It’s Johnny Depp’s Wolf that’s the real scene stealer in this one though.

As for the music, let’s admit that the majority of this cast is not known for their musical talents. While everyone gets an A for effort, there was clearly a lot of auto tune needed to make a few of the musical numbers work. For the most part, it isn’t the singing that shines, but the delivery of the music that makes it stay with you.

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The score was well done and quirky, though I doubt we’ll be seeing a lot of number 1 hits come out of this. The musical numbers were still foot tapping good though, despite the fact that there really isn’t anything you haven’t heard before in it.

The scenery, costumes and backdrops were all beautiful and stunning to look at. They really did a good job of world building and creating a fairy tale worthy land. Streep’s makeup alone must have taken hours, but was well worth the effort. For much of the movie, she was completely unrecognizable.

It was a well-written film. Despite that fact that there are multiple storylines going on, they are all interwoven seamlessly and you will never find yourself wondering what is going on. It’s a fast paced move and none of the 2 hour run time is wasted. Usually, that’s something I can’t say, as only the most epic movies can take up two hours and not drag at some point. This is clearly an epic movie and despite the fact that it is a musical, did not feel padded with music.

This is a film that is worth the watch. If you’re looking for something unique and interesting to bring the family to this winter, then it might be worth heading Into the Woods.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!  Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below.

four and a half stars

 

 

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