Oz The Great and Powerful Review

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: Film , Reviews

Oz The Great and Powerful review is that the prequel to the legendary 1939 “Wizard of Oz.” it begins many many years before Dorothy’s fateful adventure among the Munchkins.  Sam Raimi directs and the story moves along steady enough. However, a great deal of what made the film was fabulous 3D effects — and they were pretty spectacular –, coupled with wonderful sets, a touch of humor — more like one-liner wit –, and the BIG answers to questions everyone has been wondering about for 74 years.

Oz The Great and Powerful Review

Director Sam Raimi and his cast (James Franco, Mila KunisRachel Weisz, Michelle Williams) provide answers to  Who is the Wizard?, where did he come from, how did he get to Oz, and  why did he go?.  Also revealed is the essence of who the witches are and what motivates them.

What the film lacked however, was Raimi’s ability to pull us in.  To fully engage his characters to extract the rawness required from them to carry us along on their adventures and make us believe.  There was a disconnect between the characters and their circumstances  challenges, and each other.  

The romance wasn’t that romantic, the adventure more like a walk through pretty scenery, and the perils tame and un-moving.

While elements of the 3D jumps off the screen, the essence of the characters never does.

Franco, though likable as a circus magician  con man — that is forced to flee Kansas in a hot-air balloon to save himself from an enraged strong man  –, establishes Oscar Diggs (Oz the Wizard) early on as the skirt-chasing, double-talker that he was.

He is a man who wrestled with being ordinary with the girl he adored, or losing her in the pursuit of the greatness (= fame  and glory) he desired.

The film holds our attention. But its more utilizing our own curiosity than the grip of the storytelling: we all want to know the back-story of the witches, the Wizard and the wonderful Emerald City.

In that regard the film fares well, giving us just enough to keep pulling us along.  The Wizard of Oz, whom the people of Oz believe to be the savior that was foretold in prophecy, comes to recognize quit early that he is over his head. He finds himself doubting.  But belief is a powerful force, and his support comes from the least likely, considering that they alone know he is a fraud. They keep his secret for their own ends. “You’re not the Wizard I had hoped for, but you’re the only one we have,” Glinda tells him. In the next moment however, we do believe her when she tells him “but you’re also more than you know.”

After a rather laid back adventure, the near-ending does provide a clever punch to stimulate a“Ohhh, that’s how that came to be!” moment.

If you’re a fan of the 1939 masterpiece, its hard not to find something you’ll like about the prequel — as long as you’re expectations are not over-the-top. You will neither be disappointed nor overwhelmed, I dare say you will be entertained.

3 Stars


Oz The Great and Powerful – Official Trailer


About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

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