I have been waiting for this film for a while now, it seems like a neat idea and I like the cast involved, but what I was truly interested in was director Sam Raimi and what kind of powers he could bring to this film. I loved what he did with Spider-Man 1 & 2, but I didn’t quite like Drag Me To Hell so I hoped for a decent film with Oz The Great And Powerful. And I can easily say that this film is good one and worth your time.
So the story of this film involves Oscar Diggs, circus magician who doesn’t have the best work ethics and is always looking out for number one. One day by chances he’s whisked away from Kansas to Land of Oz, a fantastic and colourful world. Here he is mistaken for a powerful wizard that will bring order to the land, since there are riches to be won he goes along with it and along his travels he comes across three witches, Theodora, Evanora and Glinda who question his abilities. So Oscar along with his two new friends Finley and China Girl, must embark on a quest to find out the truth, and Oscar must use his magic skills and brains to sort things out before things get out of hand.
I thought the story was pretty nice, it was nicely paced and had a few twists and turns I didn’t expect. I liked Oscar’s story, he was easy to relate to and I liked the film’s focus on him and how interacted with the people of Oz. I also liked Sam Raimi’s direction on this film, you could tell it was his style with the grand scale of the film and the use of tension and jump scares too, also there were some nice verbal and visual references to The Wizard of Oz that I liked too. The story is certain places was a little lacking a predictable though considering the type of film it was I wasn’t too surprised.
I think one of the key elements that make the film work is the characters. Let’s start with James Franco as Oscar Diggs, as said before he’s a magician who is only doing things for his own benefit. He comes across as a liar, a ladies man and has a way with words which messes with the emotions of the people around him. Though he was a bit of a jerk at first, over the course of the film we see him change from the start of the film to the end and finally become a creditable man. I thought Franco was great as the main character, while he was a bit cheesy at times he was charismatic and hilarious in the role. Then there’s Mila Kunis as Theodora, honestly while Ms. Kunis is remarkably pretty I wasn’t too fussed with her character due to the fact that I just didn’t feel like she connect to her role that well. She wasn’t terrible by any means, I just couldn’t get into her performance and later in the film it just gets a little to hammy for my liking.
As for Rachel Weisz as Evanora she was pretty good, Ms. Weisz is one of the few women who can look beautiful forever, but putting that aside I enjoyed her role in the film too. Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch was also good too, Williams brought a soft, kind and charming approach to her character that I liked. Then there was Zach Braff as the voice of Finley/Frank. Now I’m not really a fan of Zach Braff especially NOT in Scrubs (I don’t see the obsession with that bloody show), however as Finley we was great, funny and not annoying in the slightest. Also Joey King was simply wonderful as the voice of China Girl, she was dead adorable and I wasn’t sure if I was gonna be able to care about such a small character but King brought enough emotion in her voice for her to matter. There were also some nice contributions from Bill Cobbs, Bruce Campbell and Tony Cox as Knuck the Fanfare Player (he was the best!).
The presentation of the film is pretty damn good. Visually the film is fabulous, the way in which the film is presented in black and white in a 4:3 aspect ratio before changing into the widescreen 16:9 ratio was a nice touch. There are some nice camera angles and interesting cinematography, also the CGI used was also very nice, it was wonderfully used to craft the world of Oz, though some of it is a little inconsistent and looks a bit questionable in some of the witch fights. and then there’s the soundtrack by the awesomeness that’s Danny Elfman, his compositions are slightly different from the usual style that he tends to use (I can usually recognize his sound immediately). His soundtrack for the film was nice and had a very grand and epic sound to it and I’m sure I heard some similarities to Elman’s work with Tim Burton like Edward Scissorhands or The Nightmare Before Christmas which Burton produced.
In conclusion Oz The Great And Powerful is an interesting prequel to the classic film with enough of a story to justify its existence. While the film wasn’t as good as I’d hoped maybe due to my high expectations, but otherwise it’s a film with great performances from the cast and spectacular visuals. I’d say take a look at this film, it is the first film of 2013 which is actually worth a second viewing.
Rating: 7.5/10 (I recommend it!)
Well that’s my review of Oz The Great And Powerful, hopefully you enjoyed reading it! Whatever thoughts you have on the film drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo! 😀