Friday, June 14, 2013

Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

A family friendly prequel with a lot of heart, Oz the Great and Powerful stays true to its source material while providing us with a new look at how the wizard came to be.

Although a bit silly at times, this movie really entertained me with a few laugh out loud moments (he shushes the singing munchkins- which I found hilarious), a few twists (who is the bad witch, really?), and an original cast of characters (the china girl stole my heart- I want one). I was surprised how many subtle references there are to the first film: the rainbow in the waterfall, the lion in the forest, the dancing munchkins, the scarecrows...I could go on and on.

What really got me was they kept the message of the first film and wove it throughout this one: everyone has exactly what they need, all they have to do is open their eyes to see it and believe in themselves. I love this message. It pertained to kids way back when the first movie came out, and it still does today. In fact, I think the kids today need to hear this even more.

The casting was spot on. James Franco played the swindler with a kind heart at the bottom perfectly. You can't help but like him despite his bummy actions. It was fun to see Mila Kunis play such a sweet character with such a large character arc. I would have loved to have seen more depth and time taken with her transformation, but this movie really wasn't about her, it was about the wizard.

For kids, there are some really scary moments: aka the giant baboon flying monkeys! Whoa, those things were scary. But, the language was clean and there were no naked people running around.

Awesome cameo by Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness) towards the end, BTW. Fans of his- look for it. 

This movie doesn't try to eclipse the original, it serves as a nice compliment to further deepen the classic. I loved it!

No comments: