Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Movie Review: ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ as the title suggests


With Sam Raimi, Disney and an all-star cast, Oz has no choice but to be great and powerful. Filmed in a world of beauty and magic, “Oz the Great and Powerful” fulfills its legacy in the 3-D fantasy Land of Oz.

Oscar Diggs, “Oz,” (James Franco) may seem like just an ordinary circus “wizard,” but fate had another plan.

After escaping a mob angered by his less-than-magical abilities and questionable ethics, Oz jumps into a hot air balloon only to be sucked in to the eye of a tornado.

For the first time in 3-D, the audience is taken inside a tornado where debris is flying relentlessly.

Rubble soars into the theatre aisles as audience members dodge with an almost life-like fear as the 3-D animation takes audience members on an exciting journey.

Once Oz escapes from the deadly tornado, he is flown away to the magical Land of Oz where fairies have sharp teeth and colors are more vibrant than ever imagined. He is quickly met by Theodora (Mila Kunis) who believes she is the good witch.

Theodora immediately falls head over heels in love with Oz and claims herself his queen. This would sound extremely creepy if she didn’t have such a sweet demeanor. Soon after joining forces, the duo runs into Finley (Zach Braff,) a helpless flying monkey with a “JD” sense of humor.

Hint: “Scrubs” reference. After being saved by Oz, he devotes his entire life to servitude and joins them on their journey.

Oz is then brought to the Emerald city and quickly succumbs to the brilliant green and dazzling riches and is quickly introduced to Theodora’s sister, Evanora (Rachel Weisz) who does not sparkle with the sweet innocence captivated by Theodora.

After being told of the need to kill the Wicked Witch of the West, Oz ventures out into the dark forest and runs into an ironic city called “China Town.”

This is not a typical China Town, however. The entire town is literally made of china, as are its citizens. Oz stumbles upon China Girl, who is the only survivor after the town had been ransacked by the wicked witch.

The girl then follows them on their journey. China Girl is a laughable character at first, but she proves to have extreme depth and is beautifully animated.

The group finds Glinda (Michelle Williams) who, at first glance, could not be the wicked witch. The journey of Oz then begins, and Oz proves to be much more than just a cocky fake magician.

Director Sam Raimi is fantastic, and his directing is bold and original. The first 30-minutes of the film play out in a tiny square among the immense IMAX space. It was a gambling decision, but it definitely paid off.

The acting was also incredible, but what else could be expected with the all-star cast? Franco is radiating with his eccentric sense of humor and charming smile.

The entire film is rather eccentric, and Franco makes fun of his own eccentricity adding to his already indulgent personality.

Overall, ”Oz the Great and Powerful” is a beautiful and entertaining piece of art. There are some cheesy moments, but Raimi made up for it with style. This is definitely a must see film for audience members of all ages.

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