Silverwolf: Hello everyone! Silverwolf here with another exciting edition of Objection! Today, Starshine and I are going to discuss the new film Oz, The Great and Powerful. I personally thought it was a movie that was, overall, just mediocre.
Starshine: And I, as humble movie critic of the site, thought it was actually pretty good and one of Raimi’s better films.
Silverwolf: I don’t think it was a bad film. As far as both special effects and acting are concerned, I felt both were quite good. My problem actually boils down to some plot points and character motivation.
Starshine: Do tell, good sir, do tell.
Silverwolf: Well, it really boils down to problems with the wizard himself. Let me get this straight: he shows up in Oz, has no idea about anything, but is told he’s destined to be the king by a pretty girl. Naturally, as a womanizer, he instantly trusts her. So far, so good. Thus, he agrees with her and her sister to murder this other witch. When he meets the other witch, however, she instantly says, “wait no, I’m good, they’re evil” and without a thought he switches sides. It just felt forced and rushed to me.
Starshine: No one ever said the wizard was smart – in the original film, he thought hiding behind a curtain in the same room as his floating head hologram was a good idea. Let’s not give the character that much credit. But I will say that the big issue with that is the polarity of the world of Oz – good and evil just are, there is no in-between so why not swap back and forth?
Silverwolf: It still seems too rushed. The evil witch doesn’t even try to convince him by accusing Glinda of lying…it’s just weird. I know the movie intended for all age groups, so perhaps this was for the sake of not confusing the kids, but I still feel it’s a pretty big plot problem.
Furthermore, the ending was very dissonant with the original film. At the end, the wizard wants to forgive the Wicked Witch of the West and says, “you can come back any time you want.” She effectively curses him out and leaves, but he has a sullen expression on his face. So, am I to believe, in the 20 year or so interim, he suddenly changes his mind and decides to send a teenage girl to kill his former friend, who he was willing to forgive?
Starshine: …She is evil. She is on a killing spree. She and her sister terrorize all of Oz so I’m going to say yes, if my “friend” was the Wicked Witch of the West I’d send someone to kill her. Not to mention the fact that has been 20 years and shit can happen in 20 years. Just cause Oz is on the good side at the end doesn’t make him a saint – he still is a conman, he has character flaws all over the place. Hell, he does more good by having her killed then letting her live, that’s for sure.
Silverwolf: All right, that’s a fair point. Probably my final complaint is the strangest: I actually liked the opening of the movie at the turn of the century Circus the best. I honestly wish they could’ve extended that section a little bit more…Hell I’d have watched an entire MOVIE set there!
Starshine: I think they could have done more with the love interest/John Gale angle since those are Dorothy’s parents. But I think they spent as much time as they need to before moving on. If there’s anything about a Raimi film I can almost never complain about is placing. And of course that it’ll look fantastic. This was a gorgeous movie and it was like going back to the original Oz.
Silverwolf: That’s true. A lot of the “magic” was there is the scenery and the characters. I won’t deny that the film has a lot of heart…but at the same time parts of it just felt too rushed. As I said earlier, I don’t think it’s a bad movie, just that it’s a mediocre one.
Starshine: I will say that a lot probably wound up on the cutting room floor so to speak. The film itself is more experience than film, and thats what Raimi does best. The colors, the sets, the flow, the character designs are all both beautiful and even a little horrifying. Don’t tell me when the Wicked Witch of the West transforms it isn’t shit scary. This is why the remake of Spiderman felt so cold and corporate and why the new Evil Dead movie is gonna suck – you can’t remake Raimi. He is an experience all his own.
Silverwolf: I’d agree with that. I feel like this is the type of movie that should be seen in theaters, just for the experience. And, given the other crap that’s out right now, this is arguably the thing most worth seeing.
Starshine: Hey, watch what you say, the Emperor just hit theaters, and that shit was fantastic. But yes, if you do absolutely see something in a theaters, then this would be it. Any closing thoughts?
Silverwolf: Well, all I’d say is: don’t rush into this movie expecting the best thing you’ve ever seen. But, if you’re a fan of the original film, this film does great work to remain true to the original. I can’t speak to the book since I’ve never read it, but I’d like to think fans of that work will be happy too.
Starshine: It doesn’t follow anything from the book…like at all…not connection to Wicked either for anyone else wondering. Just the original film, that’s all. My closing thoughts would be that it’s a fun film for (almost) the whole family and definitely check it if you have time. Especially cause it’s Raimi and we’re going to have to watch his greatest film get butchered next month.
Silverwolf: Well, that’s all for today! Join us next time when another two writers square off in the Objection! arena!
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