Now... this is the Third Wizard of Oz related things i've reviews.
First was the stage play Wicked.
Second was the Andrew Lloyd Webber Stage play of the Wizard of Oz and now this....
Ok let me start off with this.
I hate children's media that panders to children. when i see something that is essentially glorified key jingling and hear it justified as "well it's just for kids" i begin to rage.
I have said it before and i will say it again as many times as it needs to be said.
Kids are smarter then you give them credit for.
The only reason children are as stupid as we think they are is cause we give them Crap media.
Not all kids shows are bad, not all kids books are bad, not even all kids films are bad....
But this? This was pretty damn terrible.
but it gets a slightly above average rating (6 out of 10) from people because it's "just for kids"
That is not, nor will it ever be, a valid excuse.
But what about the fact that rating systems that are out of ten are Kinda BS cause no one gives a rating lower then five... (cause heaven forbid we fail someone... everyone should get a gold star)
still not an excuse.... i don't rate things cause honestly attaching a number to something completely personal opinion is a little silly... i either recommend it or i don't... after having laid out all my personal bias (cause boy do i have a lot)
So.... what was so terrible about this?
1. The acting.
I have nothing against any one individual actor in this film... i'm not a fan of any of them either but the thing that annoys me about the acting in general is they have their kids film voices on... the entire time. this is also probably the writer or directors fault cause some of the dialogue in this is just... repetitive nonsense... or even worse it thinks you are the Dumbest person ever.
I'll give an example.... at one point he mentions wanting to make fireworks.
when the fireworks are used we have the shot of them exploding.... NOTHING needed to be said past this point... most kids know that "oh wow that's how they are using the fireworks" BUT NO... this film takes it a step farther by having a character say "so those are fireworks." and you would think that would be enough BUT NOPE that STILL wasn't enough... they had to show the people firing it and the trajectory for an added. 'look at shit flying towards the screen' moment... more on that later. just incase you didn't get it.
it's like even a baby would get it at this point.
Also the jokes they were just "lets repeat the same thing over and over until it's annoying cause that's comedy
NO IT ISN'T
2. The canon.
I haven't read any of the books and my only exposure to the mythos are the things i mentioned above and obviously the 1939 version of the movie.... oh and the Wiz....
So i'm no "omg it has to perfectly fit in with all of the plot elements that have been laid out!" type of person.
but EVERYONE has seen the 1939 film, you'd be hard pressed to find a person who hasn't... to the general populace that movie defined the basics of the story.
This film TRIES to be in canon but it's like they didn't actually watch it.
the biggest thing that actually made me shout was: The poppy fields weren't poisonous until the wicked witch made them so... in fact she created the field to begin with.... so.... why are they there when this is 15-16 years prior to Dorothy Gale?
another thing was "why aren't they having the one witch make some ruby slippers" but then i realised they may be saving that for the sequel.... which if that gets made.... well at least a bunch of people will be getting a check... so some good will come out of it.
whatever.... pretty much everything this just kicks the canon to the curb while pretending to follow it.
3. The characters
i know this is unfair but compare the main character in this to the one in wicked.
He is a Liar who will willingly try to seduce any pretty lady but mostly is in it for the money when he's thrust into an adventure way over his head and he must find some way to be victorious while never really doing anything he just has knowledge of technology that this world doesn't.
She is an oddity, feared for her green skin despite her kind personality, she is picked on and made fun of by all her peers and yet she continues to try and help them, even after swearing off doing good deeds she still helps a friend who has done nothing to betray her cause in the end it gives the illusion of a happy story even though it may not appear to be happy for her.
Which sounds like a more likable character?
or lets look at the betraying friend?
In Oz it's someone who throws herself all over him, which of course triggers his commitment issues, and then when he goes to do the mission the 'prophecy' foretold she mistakes it as him picking the other witch and gives up her heart and humanity to get revenge because he doesn't love her enough despite him being nothing but kind even after she tried to kill him.
In wicked it's her room-mate who is the pretty prissy blond witch who has all the friends... the two don't get along mostly because Galinda can't for fear of being shunned by her other friends but despite all that high school drama the two do manage to form a bond.
When they travel to the emerald city and everything goes to hell Galinda happy reaps the reward of the guy she always wanted and many adoring fans who now all had a common enemy. But she's not really happy... she does some really horrible things to Elphaba to keep up the ruse of trying to bring her down but in the end she is sad by what happens.
Which sounds more complex?
Oz: literally thrown in during the last minute of screen time, there is no chemistry other then she happens to look like a girl from Kansas that he loves. too bad she's marring another (and they mention his last name a few times just in case you don't get it.... so it's assuming you've seen the wizard of oz... so you would THINK it would be kinda in canon but nope...
Wicked: it's conflicted because he's the handsome prince and should love the pretty popular girl but he sees past the green skin to the kind hearted person who just wants to have friends.
hmmm.... i wonder which one was built up more over time.
i think i've made my point.
actually no i haven't
The character of OZ... and this is true for ALL versions.... is a really unlikeable asshole.
he just is
so making him the protagonist means i don't like the protagonist.... if i don;t like the protagonist then i'm not gunna like the film.
4. The 3D.
Bias: I hate 3d
but i didn't see this in 3d i saw it in 2d so let me clarify.
I hate seeing films that are made for 3d in 2d because one of a few things WILL happen.
a) something... or many things will constantly come at you from the screen cause OMG it's 3d! 90% of the time it will have no relevance to the plot and will be held on for a really long time.
b) things will look like cardboard cutouts on a different plane of existence because the camera is focusing on the 3d crap but the way it's reacting to the filmed stuff doesn't make sense. or the 3d things will appear to jitter in ways to match the living thing and it just looks wrong.
this film didn't need to be in 3d and I just hope this fad dies.
5. 3d character designs.
the cg in this film is pretty Cartoony.... not bad but it feels like it may have been better if everything was animated cause real life people do not fit in with the ascetic at all... also creepy cg flying money is creepy.
6. It's a prequel
this is a commentary of the idea of a prequel as a concept... we know certain characters HAVE to survive and that takes every last drop of tension out of the story... i can't get invested in something where i know the main characters are going to survive.
But was it all bad?
1. Set design.
The sets in this film, at least the ones that aren't CGed are really fun and imaginative.... i can imagine it was a blast to make some of that stuff.
If you do a Wizard of Oz story and you're costumes aren't incredible and fun then you just wasted your opportunity... this film embraced it and most of the outfits are just lovely.
A lot of people consider this is what they will do instead of a wicked film... i seriously hope that's not the case cause i think Wicked could translate into a film easily... it may have to be shortened a bit but it would be so much better then this crap
As for this film on it's own merits do i recommend it.
not even a little
it had some cool elements but it's not worth wasting 130 mins of you life on... just go watch the original movie instead... you'll have more fun.