Into the Woods- 12a

into the woods

Disney taking on music theatre, what’s not to love? I’ll admit, I was hooked for the first half; it was a witty and clever satire on many interwoven fairy tales. The songs were catchy and I even bought into James Corden and Emily Blunt as loved up Mr and Mrs Baker.

It was coming off as a live action, prettier cousin of Shrek with all the right players in all the right places. In fact, I would go so far to say it was this decades The Princess Bride. Then, just as if it was in the theatre, you could feel the plot winding to a halt for that 20 minute interval. For me, it was too much of a jerk and it lost all it’s pace. The songs seemed to repeat and everyone lost their happy endings.
While there were some amazing set pieces, on a whole it came across rather static and contained; as if they had filmed on a stage. This nags at me so much more than it should, only because Disney are capable of so much more.
The cast, on the most part, were faultless, but a special mention must go to Chris Pine who was doing a better Shatner impression than he does in Star Trek. His song with onscreen brother, Agony, is delightful unadulterated panto. My only hope is that a sensible theatre throws enough money at him to convince him to spend some time on West End during panto season soon.
While I did enjoy the Red Riding Hood story, I felt Johnny Depp’s cameo pointless, jarring and disturbing. In Depp’s defense, he’s not an actor I enjoy watching at the moment. I’m sure fans of his will relish his hip thrusting howls to the moon.

While I’ve not been kind to this film- I know of three people who haven’t got a bad word to say about it. My best friend also text me to recommend it because she thought I’d love it. Perhaps I’m being a little harsh and hard to please after being spoilt by superb theatre. One thing is for certain; you couldn’t get this many quality actors on one stage!

Cast- 8
Cinematography- 7
Plot- 6
Music- 7
Pace- 6
Enjoyability- 8

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