Rob Marshall’s track record in the tricky craft of adapting stage musicals includes an Oscar-winner (Chicago) and a real turkey (Nine). This one’s in between, a toned-down (it’s Disney) version of Stephen Sondheim’s far racier stage epic that mixes and matches four Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
The first half is fun, creative and exuberant, but then the mash-up starts falling apart as the story lines begin tripping over one another. Some magical moments, interleaved with embarrassing missteps. Great cast includes Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, and about ten minutes of Johnny Depp. (125 min)