Oz The Great And Powerful (PG)



Action (2013)
130mins US

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Abigail Spencer, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff
Director: Sam Raimi
Writer(s): David Lindsay-Abaire, Mitchell Kapner
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Small-time circus magician Oscar Diggs bids farewell to 1905 Kansas and is sucked into the eye of a tornado. He crash-lands in a wondrous realm, where ancient prophecy decrees that a wizard will fall from the sky and reign benevolently over Oz. Beautiful witch Theodora accompanies Oscar to the Emerald City, where her sister Evanora and the other denizens live in fear of the wicked witch Glinda.

Seen that movie? Leave a comment / review here >>

LondonNet Film Review
Oz The Great And Powerful

Made in 1939 for the staggering sum of 3.7 million US dollars, The Wizard Of Oz failed to cast a spell over audiences on its initial release...

OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL. James Franco and Michelle Williams. Photo: Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP. © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.More than 70 years later, Victor Fleming's fantastical yarn is one of the most beloved family films in the cinematic pantheon and a staple of the Christmas television schedules. In 1985, Disney revived the iconic character of Dorothy Gale in Return To Oz, based on two novels by Frank L Baum. Like it predecessor, the unofficial sequel failed to curry favour with audiences. Now director Sam Raimi, who propelled the Spider-Man trilogy to dizzy heights, has the unenviable task of helming this lavish prequel, which chronicles the arrival of the eponymous wizard in Oz.

In an affectionate nod to the 1939 film, Oz The Great And Powerful opens in black and white and only flushes the screen with vibrant colour once the story moves to the magical realm of flying monkeys and munchkins. Small-time circus magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is booed off stage in 1905 Kansas and finds himself in hot water with the resident strongman. Bidding a hasty farewell to his sweetheart Annie (Michelle Williams), who is poised to marry another man, Oscar escapes in a hot air balloon. The canopy is sucked into an approaching tornado and Oscar crash-lands in a wondrous realm, where ancient prophecy decrees that a wizard will fall from the sky and reign benevolently over Oz. Beautiful witch Theodora (Mila Kunis) accompanies Oscar to the Emerald City, where her sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and the other denizens live in fear of the wicked witch Glinda (Michelle Williams). "I'm not too keen on killing a woman," stutters the magician. "She's not a woman, she's a wicked witch," Evanora reminds him.

OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL. Michelle Williams. © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

- Kim HuOz The Great And Powerful is a visual treat, especially in eye-popping 3D, and it's evident that most of the 200 million US dollar budget has been lavished on digital effects. The film follows the template of the recent re-imaging of Alice In Wonderland, bombarding our retinas with outlandish set pieces. Some of the visual trickery isn't as slick as it should be - when human characters pick up a china doll character (voiced by Joey King), actors clutch thin air without any sense of weight in their hands. Copious special effects come at the expense of plot and characterisation. Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire's script boasts a few snappy one-liners but it's perilously flimsy and the 130-minute running time is unwieldy. Warmth and charm have almost been sucked dry from this incarnation of Oz and performances are muted, especially Franco, who bumbles through his scenes as if he is making up dialogue on the spot. Margaret Hamilton was far more terrifying as the green-hued Wicked Witch back in 1939 than anything Raimi conjures from his cast here.


London Cinemas

From Friday 22nd August
To Thursday 28th August

- Everyman Belsize Park
- Everyman Maida Vale
- Everyman Screen On The Green
From Friday 29th August
To Thursday 4th September

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


« Back to Index

Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 22nd August
To Thursday 28th August

- Leeds, Everyman Leeds
From Friday 29th August
To Thursday 4th September

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


« Back to Index