Oz: The Great and Powerful Reviews
[Oz] qualifies as a cautionary tale, not about the perils of ambition and selfishness, but about the movie industry's misguided belief that it can distract the audience from a film's narrative weaknesses with little more than flash and spectacle.
Oz the Great and Powerful somehow manages to be both slavish to its hallowed template (when convenient) and completely tone-deaf to the magic that made it a one-of-a-kind cultural milestone.
Let us take a moment to praise two great and surprisingly powerful characters: a winged monkey and a wee girl made out of china. Because so much human wonder resides in these two creations of make-up, puppetry, digital effects and lovely performances.
It might have been more interesting if Raimi had attempted to shoot an "Oz" prequel using only the tools available to Victor Fleming and King Vidor in the late 1930s.
"Oz the Great and Powerful" will likely dazzle family audiences while satisfying movie purists. Somewhere over the rainbow there may be a more magical movie, but this will certainly do.
It's not bad. Some bits are enjoyable. But ultimately, other than some genuinely impressive visuals, it never makes a compelling-enough case to justify its existence.