Take the director of Chicago, an all-star cast, a Broadway hit musical and a whole heap of fairytales and you've got Into the Woods in a nutshell.

While Cinderella, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood all make appearances in the story, the main focus is a tale we haven't heard before; that of a baker (Corden) and his wife (Blunt) who are cursed and unable to have children.

When their next-door neighbour The Witch (Streep) calls around and tells them that there might be a way to lift said curse, the pair embark on a mission into the woods to gather the items she requires – a golden slipper, hair as yellow as corn, a cow as white as milk and a red cloak – which leads them to cross paths with a number of other fairytale characters, good and bad.

From the opening number I was drawn into the world of Into the Woods. It's one of those films with enough jokes for the grown-ups and enough fantasy and singing to keep the kids entertained too. And, as with all fairytales and Disney movies, Into the Woods has a lovely message.

Each performance is simply brilliant. While we knew Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and James Corden could sing, I was truly shocked by Emily Blunt and Chris Pine. Blunt's voice is just beautiful and Pine's portrayal of Prince Charming is excellent. We've seen Pine do funny before, but this over-the-top, airhead Prince is a stand-out character and one scene in particular with his on-screen brother Billy Magnussen had me in absolute stitches – I won't give anything away but you'll know the one I mean if you go and see it.

Most stories end with a 'happily ever after' but Into the Woods goes a step further and we get a glimpse of what went down after that. Unfortunately, for me, that is the movie's downfall. I've never seen the Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical to draw a comparison here, but I think Into the Woods would be a much stronger film had the final half-hour or so been cut. The film seems to come to a good conclusion at about the expected 'happily ever after' mark and while it is interesting to see some of the events beyond that, the film ends on a more sombre note than I expected after an hour-and-a-half of humour, colour and general happiness.

Things can't always be magic and light and while there are some good scenes in the final act, it didn't seem as polished as the rest of the film. Hitting the two-hour mark, I just don't know if there's enough going on at the end to maintain the attention of the younger viewers.

Overall, I would definitely recommend going to see Into the Woods as it really is a thoroughly enjoyable watch and a whole lot of fun - I just wish it had ended on a high.

Sinead Brennan

Check out Sinead's interviews with James Corden, Anna Kendrick and director Rob Marshall: