A wicked witch (Meryl Streep) pays an unwanted visit to a hard-working baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) and informs them that the reason they have been unable to have any children is because of a curse she put on their home a number of years before. She tells them that the only way they can have the curse lifted is if they obey her commands and go into the woods and bring her everything that she requires on her list.
Upon going into the woods the baker and his wife come across other fairytale folk going about their own ‘stories’ including Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), the wolf (Johnny Depp) and the two Princes (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen).
The worst film ever made. There are many films over the years that have managed to have that description leveled at them, Jack & Jill and That’s My Boy spring straight to mind and there have even been others that have not starred Adam Sandler as well. Well now comes another film that certainly deserves to be included on many ‘Worst Film Lists’, a film so bad and out of the ordinary that it is likely to leave the audience wondering just what Disney was thinking when they signed on the dotted line for Into The Woods.
There are so many things wrong with Into The Woods it is really difficult to know how to begin listing them. There is the fact that the songs are awful to say the least, then there is the massive problem that the film’s script (and yes that includes the lyrics) are so lame that you could be forgiven for thinking that the guys behind the Scary Movie parody films haven’t decided to venture out and make a musical spoof. And if the early lameness of the film hasn’t got you thinking that then the scene of the bare-chested Billy Magnussen and Chris Pine singing on top of a waterfall certainly well. Honestly that scene has to single-handedly be one of the worst scenes ever scene on the big screen.
Perhaps the wrongest thing though about Into The Woods is that somehow Disney has felt that it is okay to include some pretty extreme adult content into a film that will certainly be watched by kids. Yes Disney will most likely argue that this is a fractured fairytale aimed for adults but the inclusion of the Disney logo on a film poster will normally assure that most parents will think that this is suitable for their children as well. Imagine their surprise then when they suddenly find things such as a song featuring the word ‘rape’, a wolf that describing what he would like to do to a little girl in such a fashion that it borderlines on pedophilia and then just to top it off two characters committing adultery (yes you see a fair bit of the act as well) because they feel that they are about to die. Yes, you get the feeling that Disney is going to be fielding some angry letters from some pretty disappointed parents about this film.
The big surprise with Into The Woods though is just how many good actors this film drags down with it as well. Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp have starred in some absolute turkeys over the years so no surprise there but for this film to drag down people such as Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick, the latter being someone who has shown she can make a musical work before, is somewhat of a complete surprise. There is no-one that can really hold their head up high with Into The Woods and you get the real feeling that this is going to be a film that is going to be listed as some of the cast member’s worst film when the time comes for them to retire.
There are no redeeming qualities for Into The Woods whatsoever. From the fact that the script is just bad from start to finish to the fact that the film seems to have an awkward extra act thrown onto its ending that seems different from the rest of the film, there is just nothing that goes right for this film at all.
Add that to the many other things that I have already listed wrong with this film and there is no way Into The Woods is a film that anybody should be heading into the cinema to see. Into The Woods is a car accident of a film and one that should be avoided by film fans of all ages.
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Meryl Streep, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Daniel Huttlestone, Lilla Crawford, Mackenzie Mauzy, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Billy Magnussen
Running Time: 125 minutes
Date of Release: January 9, 2014