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Published On: Wed, Dec 24th, 2014

‘Into the Woods’ Review: Anna Kendrick can’t save the dark, disturbing tale

It’s not unusual for me to disagree with the mainstream critics on films (Noah, Lucy being two of the latest), but Into the Woods was not an entertaining film.

Composer Stephen Sondheim and writer James Lapine’s musical gets adapted by Rob Marshall and is being hailed by critics, who are calling for more “depravity and the dying…”

Anna Kendrick as Cinderella in "Into the Woods"

Anna Kendrick as Cinderella in “Into the Woods”

Meryl Streep is an evil witch who imprisons a kidnapped child, Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy) and seeks to undo a curse on her and her curse on a childless baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt). The witch sends them on a quest into the woods on a scavenger hunt that brings them in contact with Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), the Big Bad Wolf (Johnny Depp), Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and his beanstalk, and, yes, Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) and her prince (Chris Pine).

In a large cast is entertaining in the first 2/3 of the film as Disney add mayhem to the musical formula in Enchanted to create a fun ride. We overlook the Princes’ zany performance of “Agony” and Depp’s perveted Wolf as the film appears to not take iteself too seriously…

Then the Lapie story of “Be careful what you wish for” becomes tedious, dark and unengaging. Adultery and death kick off a new sequence of events as a giant devastates the land.

Parents may think the film was over, but now Act 2 is underway with the message “Careful the things you say, ‘Children Will Listen’.”

Kendrick remains the bright spot in the film, but the cast is not the problem. This just became a dark and boring version of Once Upon a Time with Meryl Streep as the witch. This is outside of the Disney mythos for kids as stepsisters are getting parts of their foot chopped off and a Prince has his eyes gauged out.

I’m no Disney purest and I know the Grimm Fairy Tales are quite different, but this should have been left for the stage and not on the big screen.

Overall Into the Woods gets 2 out of 5 stars

IntoThe Woods movie poster
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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. [Movie Review] Into the Woods (2014) - The Grand Shuckett says:

    […] ‘Into the Woods’ Review: Anna Kendrick can’t save the dark, disturbing tale […]

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