Into the Woods

Rated 2.0

In this Disney-fied adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Tony-winning musical, a selection of Grimm Brothers characters that includes Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Prince Charming and Cinderella come together in an attempt to reverse a witch's curse. The Sondheim music is still utterly appalling, but at least it's unmemorable, a monotonous series of tuneless and barely differentiated refrains masquerading as musical numbers (only one sequence—the princely preen-off “Agony”—sticks out). However, the appeal of Into the Woods was always the surprisingly dark book, and while James Lapine adapted his own stage material for the screen, he guts the second act, and the finished product plays like an attempt to make a movie of Shrek the Musical without buying the rights. A strong cast of theater vets and movie stars with passable voices do their best, but director Rob Marshall has the insipidly literal sensibility of a born hack.