|Rating||out of 5|
The fairy-tale reboot trend continues with “Into the Woods,” Disney’s big-screen version of the Stephen Sondheim musical that debuted on Broadway in 1987. Set in and around a creepy forest that looks like a leftover “Harry Potter” stage, “Into the Woods” mashes up a bunch of well-known Brothers Grimm tales with some hammy A-list performances by the likes of Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp.
James Corden and Emily Blunt play a baker and, ahem, “baker’s wife,” who have been cursed to childlessness by a wicked witch (Streep) unless they can bring her some magical items: Rapunzel’s hair, Red Riding Hood’s cape, Cinderella’s slipper, and Jack’s cow, which is somehow more prized than his magic beans. Director Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) retains a lot of the original musical’s darker undertones, which are true to the spirit of the Grimms, but things like implied pedophilia and dismemberment may be a bad surprise for parents taking their kids to a Disney film.
Like “Les Miserables” and so many modern musicals, though, “Into the Woods” features lots of singing, but precious few real songs with melodies you can remember. Somewhere, Cole Porter rolls in his grave.
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