I couldn't figure out the target audience. The moralizing was a little too old for a younger crowd and too broadly painted for a mature crowd. I felt like I was being beat over the head with a “LESSON!”. The storyline and acting were a little too over the top for a mature audience. The songs were too complicated to sing along with or to become things you pretty much ever wanted to hear again and the story just stopped during them. That’s a common problem in musicals but most musicals aren't action stories. They're more comedic or dramas. This was trying to be an action adventure but as the tempo would pick up it would just screech to a halt as they sang a somewhat complicate song with no hook; no memorable bits to it and then go on to the next bit of the movie.
Honestly, if they'd removed the songs the movie would have been not only shorter, which it needed, but tighter and better. I don't remember any information being given me in the songs that wasn't also given me in dialogue. I also don't remember any of the songs as something I want to hear again... ever.
Johnny Depp’s performance as the creepy wolf that is going to eat Red Riding Hood is getting a lot of talk because, well... it’s quite definitely a metaphor, and not a subtle one at all, for predators preying on little girls and the dangers of not obeying your parents and if you DO disobey you’ll probably get eaten by someone with a really skeevy mustache... and by eaten here I mean... well, let’s stick with eaten. But that part is short, really short. When I hear Johnny Depp’s going to be in a movie and then he’s a bit part. I was surprised. I thought there'd be more Depp.
Sadly, there was more of this movie than I wanted. I was looking at my watch early on... kept looking and looking. I didn't really care what happened to the people, which is good because as much as happily ever after usually happens, don't count on it here. Which, again, seemed odd. If it’s for younger kids happily ever after is the way things are supposed to be, not a treatise on how disappointing life is and how people will let you down and fail you and die so you can't depend on anyone. That’s a bit cynical isn’t it? That’s how fairy tales are supposed to start, not end.
So, my take on it? Don’t go. Just don’t. It’s too long. It’s too depressing, and the bumbling fool baker who couldn't remember the cow was supposed to be white was just annoying. Not just when he obviously redid what his daddy did that he didn't want to do but did... ugh, just don’t go. Use that money for anything else... a mani-pedi by a man with a chainsaw would be more entertaining and leave you feeling better about the time you would spend slogging through this thing.