Geek Dinks is awesome. It’s updated all the time. Okay, so it’s not. We’re really bad about keeping it up, but in the last few months we’ve moved halfway across the country and began building a house so cut us some slack.
So we’re going to start 2013 with Oz the Great and Powerful. Before we get started, there are some things that you need to know in the interest of full disclosure.
So with that out of the way, let’s get to the somewhat biased review of Sam Raimi’s latest spectacle.
The short review is that I liked this movie very much. It wasn’t perfect, but it won me over with charisma, references, and beauty. Two of those come solely from the actors in the film, so perhaps the movie had some room to improve.
The interesting thing about this movie is that it’s an original story. Rather than rely on the multitudes of Oz books already in existence, Disney decided the best course was to write their own movie. At first glance, that seems pretty silly, but I think they did a pretty good job of honing in on something that people would find interesting.
The origin story of Oz is nifty here because it is a parallel of Dorothy’s journey. In that way, it sorta has that Back to the Future story mirror going for it, and I really dug it. The movie was replete with references both large and small, and it was a lot of fun to see something happen and realize the effect it would later have on Dorothy.
The acting was all top-notch, but I have to admit that it was internally inconsistent. I love James Franco more than any grown man ought to, but even I can admit that his acting prowess is not on par with that of Michelle Williams. She’s an Oscar caliber actress and it was a little too clear that she was better at it than the rest of them. On the other end of the spectrum, Rachel Weisz did a horrible job. Seriously, I shuddered every time she was on the screen.
I really liked Mila Kunis in this film, and I think she could be a lot of fun in this role when sequels inevitably roll around. In fact, I think a sequel would be well served by focusing entirely on her character and leaving the character of Oz in the background. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just leave it at that.
The CGI in the film was a bit cartoonish, which I’ve seen some critics take issue with. Personally, I thought it was fine for this film. Oz is a wondrous, dream-like place and having it be surreal is particularly appropriate in my opinion. We saw it in the 3D, which was well utilized for the most part but did occasionally get a little gimmicky.
The plot of the film is a little bit convoluted at times, and suffered greatly from the fact that it’s ending was already written for it. The plot had to get the character of Oz from point A to point B and sometimes that meant that a few weird turns had to be taken. It’s easy to forgive these oddities, and a satisfying ending that leaves everything where it should be is worth it in the end.
Overall, Oz the Great and Powerful is a great March movie. It’s not as good as our March blockbuster last year (Hunger Games), but it’s just the ticket for scratching the movie itch after a few months of nothing to speak of. It’s a New Year and this is the first review, so it gets to be on top for a little while.
Verdict: 82% as good as The Avengers.