Oz the Great and Powerful Review
Director; Sam Raimi
Starring; James Franco
When I heard that Sam Raimi was making a brand new version of the 'Wizard of Oz' I was very much, underwhelmed. Another director trying his hand at breathing new life into a classic,by re-imagining it for a modern audience. It felt to me like there was no originality anymore, to go that far back and touch on a film that is so close to almost everyone's hearts. It was another knock to my childhood. If you've read my thoughts on Michael Bay you know that the last year has not been kind with regards to how Hollywood has treated a lot of peoples cherished childhood memories. I found out then that it was a prequel of sorts. Giving us the origin story of 'The Wizard' himself, but more interestingly, the origin of 'The Wicked Witch of the West'.
|Zach Braff doing what he does best...I'll get to you in that one.|
It's way back when, things are simple, uncomplicated and in black and white. The times they are good, but that's not what "master" illusionist 'Oscar Diggs' wants however. He wants things to be great, he wants to be great. Through a series of odd and ridiculous events involving a random woman, a music box, Zach Braff and a strong man, Oscar finds himself in the magical world of....Oz. In this weird, wonderful and at times over-acted place Oscar meets witches, claims to be a wizard and saves a slightly psychopathic china doll. I'm serious about that china doll, she is...intense at times.
Mila Kunis, without going into too much detail. She has the most interesting character journey throughout this whole film. She is also really hot, so that's bonus points there. The little china doll, though intimidating at times, is also one of the more humourous and interesting characters of the film. The design of Oz( the kingdom, not the guy) is pretty most of the time. Coming off as a child's version of 'Pandora'. The final act and the films climatic battle was visually beautiful and the Wicked Witch of West is superb. She hasn't lost that evil streak.
|This girls has some of the best lines of dialogue.|
Right, where to begin. I suppose the irony of the "good" witch being the least interesting and most annoying of the witches assembled in this film is not lost on me. The origin of the Wicked Witch of the West is brilliant and intriguing but honestly should have been fleshed out. You feel for her, but in the kind of, "oh honey don't worry about that man, he's not worth your time", way. If they had fleshed it out more it would have added a lot more depth to the character and would have added some more weight to a very light film experience. At times, a lot of times by the way, the acting is way over the top, surprisingly so since the cast that has been put together is of such high quality. James Franco for example is a bit of a douche for most of the film, and not in the redeeming fashion.
It is a good film, it's not great but there are some really nice scenes, the visuals at times are superb and the Wicked Witch of the West has been replicated with such care you can't help but respect Sam Raimi for that. If only the acting transitioned from black and white to technicolor as well as people from Kansas seem to.
|I know what you're thinking. What a wonderful place Oz is.|
Look out for the little nods to old friends. They are both subtle and blatantly obvious.