Thursday, March 14, 2013

Movie Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

The story of the wizard of Oz is only known, for most folks, from the viewpoint of Dorothy through the age old movie the Wizard of Oz and the many revivals it has seen.  In the new movie, Oz the Great and Powerful, the audience sees the story from the role of the wizard who becomes the Great Wizard of Oz.  The wizard is a less than savoury man, a con artist to the highest degree, wanting to be more, but not willing to put the time and effort in to be better.  Though this kind of character isn’t new, he still seemed compelling and interesting.  When he gets whisked off by a tornado, he lands in a new world, meeting a woman who helps him to the emerald city.  Her name is Theodora, and she believes he loves her.  As a con man, he loves himself the most.  Her sister, Evanora tells Oz he must kill the evil witch so that their world can be free of her evil.  When he finally meets her, she resembles a woman he loved back in Kansas.  He soon realises that one of the two of the witches are lying to him.  The story unfolds in somewhat predictable fashion, but this doesn’t detract from the story or experience in any way.

Without giving away the end, the story ends with a perfect opening for Dorothy to arrive in the Land of Oz.  The acting was passable, at times, not as great as the breath-taking special effects.  James Franco and Mila Kunis were good, but not great.  I felt like I could hear ‘Meg’ every time Kunis got upset or agitated.  It is silly, I know, but it pulled me out of the story each time she did it.  Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams were absolutely amazing.  Both delivered what I’ve come to expect, knock-out performances.  I’m still amazed Williams didn’t win an Oscar nomination for her role in My Week with Marilyn, but such is life in Hollywood.  The story was quite good, the execution decent.  I can see why many critics felt it fell flat.  There were points where I felt like Franco was giving his trademark grin, phoning in the performance for our benefit.  Sometimes, I’m not sure I take him very seriously.  The 3D effect was incorporated well into the story, not making it seem overzealous as many kids movies tend to.  This is worth seeing, but I’m not sure I’d see it in the evening.  Many theatres have matinee specials, I’d go for that if I were you.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, I might just wait to see it once it comes to DVD or w/e. It looked cool from the previews, but it seems it's less than stellar from what I've heard (and from your review).