Oz: The Great and Powerful
- Director: Sam Raimi
- Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
- Cert: PG
- Details: US/130 mins
A director with a distinctive visual style brought in by Disney to tell a story directly related to a much-loved classic, featuring a fantastic cast, lavishly colourful sets and a whole lot of 3D. Yes, the comparisons to 2010’s hugely popular but critically lashed Alice In Wonderland are there to be made, but thankfully Oz: The Great & Powerful is nowhere near as bad as that movie. Sadly though, considering the calibre of the names involved, it’s also nowhere near as good as it should’ve been.
Oscar (James Franco) is a small-time magician who uses his smoke and mirrors trickery to his advantage with the local ladies. Upon getting involved with the wrong woman, he tries to make a quick getaway in a hot air balloon, which gets sucked up by a tornado. Crash-landing in the weird and wonderful Oz, he soon runs into the beautiful witch Theodora (Mila Kunis), who informs him that he is part of a prophecy that will restore peace to their world. Theodora and her sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz) explain that in order to become King of Oz he must kill The Wicked Witch (who they lead him to believe is Glinda (Michelle Williams) who’s been wreaking havoc ever since killing their father, the previous ruler of Oz.
So off he sets down the yellow brick road, picking up accomplices like Finley The Flying Monkey (voiced by Scrubs’ Zack Braff) and a little girl made out of china - China Girl - both of which are fine, but hardly equal to the likes of the Tin Man or Scarecrow from the original. The plot jots along, never once sitting still long enough to allow boredom to set in. Throughout, you can take in the visually arresting camerawork from director Sam Raimi, who enjoys referencing some of his back-catalogue like The Evil Dead and Drag Me To Hell.
At times it can feel like you’re watching a 130 minute special effects show-reel, with certain performances revelling in a complete lack of subtlety - Franco and Kunis, we’re looking at you. Kids will most likely love it, but accompanying parents may be left wanting. Much like Oscar himself, there’s a lot of razzle dazzle here to get your attention, but not much going on to keep it.
Review by Rory Cashin | 12:39 | Friday 8th March 2013 | Movie Review
ENTERESTING FILM PREVIEWS WOULD RECOMEND ALL OFF THEM.Posted 23:43 | Fri 8th Mar 2013
Oz: The Great And Powerful is like the Tin Man - hollow and lacking heart. However, it's an enjoyable romp and three stars is just about right for it.Posted 20:26 | Sat 9th Mar 2013
Really enjoyed it. Fun but long.Posted 20:14 | Sun 10th Mar 2013
Missing a star in my opinion, definitely a four star film. A touch too long and just flattens out a bit at the ending but overall a very good and enjoyable film. Fantastic effects, of course, but there are moments when things need fixing - like when people hold the china girl! Acting is better than expected, actually funny and lots of nice touches by director Sam Rammi. Not as good as Tron Legacy but if you enjoyed Alice in Wonderland, go see this! Also wiki the film to read why some things were left out (Ruby slippers etc).Posted 19:17 | Mon 11th Mar 2013
The best thing about this movie was that David Bowies Little China girl was stuck in my head throughout the whole thing. Great cinematography, beautiful colours and costumes, but overall a dreadful movie, (although I thought Michelle Williams was lovely as Glinda) given the level of sophistication and dry wit in most kids movies these days I really thought this would be much better.Posted 12:55 | Thu 14th Mar 2013
A very enjoyable retelling of the Wizard of Oz story, with things being centered around the Wizard this time instead of Dorothy. As Paul McMahon above has mentioned, certain things where off limits because of copyright, but they were able to get around these and tell a new story that still captures some of the magic of the original. The special effects are great and the whole thing is very well done really. It would be completely unfair to compare it to the original, which is one of the greatest fairy stories ever told, but as a sequel, which I suppose this is, it is very good.Posted 14:05 | Tue 19th Mar 2013
Did not like this film at all and I was so looking forward to it, it was such a let down. James Franco is awful in it ( and I like some of his films) Mila Kunis and Rachel Wise where just ok, but have to agree with Derv thought Michelle Williams was lovely as Glinda . It was way to long.Posted 13:49 | Wed 20th Mar 2013
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