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The Wizard of Oz
Oz the Great and Powerful, review
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In Theaters. Coming Soon. Best of Netflix. Best of Amazon. Oz the Great and Powerful Mixed or average reviews based on 42 Critics.
As a result, while Disney has positioned Oz the Great and Powerful as a spiritual predecessor to the iconic film, Raimi's movie is not a direct prequel - a detail that has been lost in the shuffle of pre-release debate and anticipation. Considering the quality of prior adventures in the world of Oz - not to mention spin-off re-imaginings of iconic characters - does a blockbuster CGI exploration of the titular Wizard of Oz played by James Franco offer a magical and captivating experience worthy of a return trip to the yellow brick road - especially in 3D? However, any alterations to the characters or larger world successfully serve the story at hand, and several enjoyable nods to the famous Judy Garland-starring original should please longtime followers - if they're willing to keep an open mind about Raimi's effort. A womanizing sideshow magician, Oscar "Oz" Diggs wears out his welcome in the traveling circus and, fleeing for his life by hot air balloon, is sucked into a tornado - crash-landing in the magical world of Oz. The people of Oz eagerly welcome Oscar, believing his arrival is part of an age-old prophesy that suggests a wizard from the sky will defeat the Wicked Witch and bring order to the land. Tempted by the promise of unlimited wealth and armed with nothing but magic tricks and a few faithful friends, Oscar sets out to kill the tyrannical witch.
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By Robbie Collin. PG cert, min. Oz The Great and Powerful is the story of a huckster who swindles an entire kingdom, so perhaps we should allow for a certain degree of salesmanship in the title. He is hailed as the wizard of legend who will bring peace to the kingdom, and two bonny witches Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz send him down the Yellow Brick Road to bring a dangerous rebel to heel. That rebel, however, is the white witch Glinda, played by Michelle Williams in a smart performance slyly garlanded with Garlandisms. The battle lines, of course, are swiftly redrawn. Franco is drowsy as a field mouse and cataclysmically miscast.
Wizard of Oz prequel 'Oz the Great and Powerful' has one too many witches for its own good. There's actually a great deal more magic and a great deal more heart in Oz the Great and Powerful than I expected. This story of a con-man carnival magician and his unlikely band of accomplices out to save the land of Oz had many pleasant surprises, but none more so than the way it managed to bring a smile to my face. The porcelain girl, the flying monkey bellhop, the munchkin heraldthese are no replacements for the Scarecrow or the Tin Man, but they're still a lovable bunch. In fact, while the film is often more spectacle than substance, even its use of CGI and 3D were mostly tasteful, with some of the best use of 3D effects I've seen since Avatar. Three may seem a natural number when it comes to witches, of course.