Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Anyone see Into the Woods today?

Although musicals are right up my alley, I wasn't familiar with this one at all walking in. I wound up liking it a lot, with one caveat... (Spoilers beyond)

That last half hour or so... Dang. Like I said, I'm not familiar with the stage play at all, so maybe it works there, but that ending felt like a downer, in a real bad way. I'm ok with things suddenly taking a dark turn, but it has to make sense, and here it just... Didn't. The last thirty minute of that movie go from a fun musical with a dark sense of humor (and one that actually acknowledges the darker roots of the fables these stories come from), into a real, real bummer, and it doesn't feel natural, it doesn't feel like there's adequate reason for these things to be happening, or a real message being given.


I think "actions have consequences" is supposed to be the moral, which isn't a bad idea, but the only one whose actions really screwed someone else over in the first two thirds of the movie, Jack, goes relatively unpunished. Meanwhile, Chris Pine and the Baker's wife suddenly have a (PG) affair, and then the wife is IMMEDIATELY thrown off a cliff? Clunky. It's clunky. It did not work for me, at all. If you want to seed that kind of a moral, you need to seed it throughout the whole film, not just suddenly have the movie take a dark turn in the last half hour. This should have been a twist right up my alley, I usually love the "what happens after happily ever after" trope, I usually love sudden dark twists in kids movies, and yet here it was like watching a train wreck.

I get what they were going for, I think, but man, MAN, it just stopped working for me, and fast. I loved so much this movie had to offer, but this is a great example of "darker is not better," in my opinion at least. Having a sad ending doesn't suddenly make your story smarter, having a happy ending doesn't suddenly make it stupider. You can make a good movie with a happily ever after, and you can ruin a good movie by suddenly killing off half the cast. The latter is what happened here.

Ah well, at least I liked the music.

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