Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

Review 2013 by RD Clark

Title

Oz the Great and Powerful

Written by: Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire, based on the books by L. Frank Baum

Directed by: Sam Raimi

Starring: James Franco, Zach Braff, Joey King, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams

Rated PG
Running time: 127 mins

A small time carnival magician and con man flies his balloon into a tornado an ends up in a strange land that is being terrorized by a wicked witch. Dazzled by the possibility of being a rich king, he agrees to help them and gets entangled in a revolution. Trouble is, he really isn’t the wizard they were looking for. Or is he?

First all, this movie looks very good. I saw it in 3-D and I heartily recommend you do so. The colors are bright, the special effects never fail and the scenery is breath-taking. I particularly liked the bubble-ride and China Town. Franco is charmingly goofy as the man flung out of his depth and Weisz is chilling as Evanora, who will be…OK, no spoilers.

However, I felt Kunis and Williams did not quite jell in their roles. Neither of them really delivered a very compelling performance. I really wanted more elegance from Glinda, rather than the forced romance that seemed rather out of place here. The first third of the move was very uneven, but it did get up and start moving very well after that. And although the monkey and China Girl were cute enough, they just didn’t quite rise to the task of being both comic relief and dramatic instruments.

Overall, well worth the time, despite my reservations. The kids will probably love it, so a family night it is. See it in 3-D if you can afford it and the popcorn. No post-credit scenes.

One last thing: If you think about it, this cannot be a prequel to the 1939 movie.

Flytrap rating: 7.5 / 10

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