“Oz the Great and Powerful”

I’m really out of the loop with what’s coming out in theaters, I suppose, because this was one I didn’t know anything about until recently. Perhaps that’s a good thing.

Movie poster

Oz the Great and Powerful isn’t a terrible movie. It’s a fun enough distraction, if that’s what you’re looking for. And I think kids will enjoy it, though, I can’t quite endorse it given the central character of the film is a womanizing con man. A fact which is stated roughly every fifteen minutes throughout the course of the film.

It’s also quite a visual spectacle. Unfortunately, since we don’t have the luxury of introducing some newfangled technology like color this is mostly for show.

I would say it was breathtaking, but it’s this spectacle for spectacle sake that really lost me. It’s just so, well, fake looking that while it’s a very pretty and all it’s almost distracting. It’s such an obvious thing that it’s even the subject of some not-quite-fourth-wall-breaking jokes, which seem to me to be mocking the 1939 film. (“Bubbles are just for show.”) And when it wasn’t riding the coattails of The Wizard of Oz, it was almost too campy to be entertaining.

Mostly what bugs me is that there really is no plot. And I don’t just mean there was no story, I mean, that nothing really happens AT ALL. I’m still kind of baffled by the whole thing. So, of course, there’s already talk of a sequel. But even without any story, things didn’t quite make sense. Chiefly, I really don’t understand why Weisz and Kunis speak with different accents when they’re sisters — and Weisz can fake an American accent quite well, I think.

Personally, I was glad I had a free pass. If I’d paid full admission, I’d probably have a more heated rant.

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