Tin Man

"OK"

Tin Man Review


Tin Man, a Sci-Fi Channel four-part mini-series here condensed into a two-disc DVD set, is a revisionist Wizard of Oz. Part steampunk fantasy, part circus sideshow, Tin Man is yet another derivative exercise in small screen blandness.

The story is familiar: Dorothy Gale (a.k.a. DG, played by Zooey Deschanel) is all grown up and bored. She mopes around, works as a waitress, and goes to school part time. Before she knows it she's back in OZ (a.k.a. Outer Zone) and on the run from the evil sorceress Azkadellia (Kathleen Robertson) and her storm troopers and clumsy CGI bats. Along the way she falls in with some Outer Zone weirdos (all, of course, based on original Oz characters) including the brainless Glitches (Alan Cumming being more irritating than ever), Raw (Raoul Trukillo), a cowardly and psychic lion-man hybrid, and, in the largest deviation, Wyatt Cain (Neal McDonough), a cowboy cop from Central City called a "tin man" because of his tin badge. Traveling the Brick Road, DG and crew encounter robots and cyborgs (Oh my!), Richard Dreyfus as "vapor" inhaling mystic (what else?), The Tutor (Toto re-imagined as Blu Mankuma), and the brutal Zero (Callum Keith Rennie).

As is obvious from the plot summary, Tin Man is a post-modern smorgasbord of dystopian film clichés -- everything from the dreary locales (Blade Runner cum Brazil) to the black leather and reality warping (The Matrix, 'natch). This sort of re-envisioning of a classic text can wield interesting and entertaining results (just look at the Shakespeare updates like Romeo + Juliet and Geoffrey Wright's recent Macbeth) but Tin Man is let down by a lack of heart. The story plods along on robotic feet, ticking off what could nicely be dubbed "homages" to other, better science fiction and fantasy films, but there is very little fun in the process, just slogging through grim landscapes and jackbooted baddies. It's as though scripters Steven Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle weren't willing to push the envelope beyond making Oz fashionably post-apocalyptic.

Interestingly enough, this road has been traveled before. Disney tried a reboot of the Wizard of Oz franchise in the mid-'80s with a film, Return to Oz, that was both dark and modern. While Return to Oz flopped, it wasn't for lack of trying. The film did follow L. Frank Baum's Oz stories closely but it was the presentation that gave the film its muscle. Tin Man tries to capture the original dark tone of Baum's tales but doesn't really give us anything new or exciting (or even honestly subversive) to savor.

The acting is uniformly poor as well. Deschanel takes DG's apathy to the extreme. Not only is she listless but she's got a bad attitude to boot. (Deschanel surpasses Summer Glau in Serenity and Alexa Davalos in Chronicles of Riddick for subbing in dour mugging for actual strength in a sci fi flick.) Cumming is hopeless and Robertson is cold. Director Nick Willing has a history of this sort of thing -- he helmed the television productions of Alice in Wonderland (1999) and Jason and the Argonauts (2000). But at least it's well shot. DP Thomas Burstyn (City of Industry) sure knows how to light desolation.

I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow.



Tin Man

Facts and Figures

Run time: 270 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 2nd December 2007

Production compaines: RHI

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Robert Halmi Jr., Robert Halmi Sr., Matthew O'Connor, Michael O'Connor

Starring: as DG, as Glitch, as Cain, as Azkadellia, as Raw, as Mystic Man

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.