Monday, December 7, 2009

Tin Man

I watched the Tin Man again over the past few nights.

TM is a reworking of the Wizard of Oz and no, it's not as good as the '39 classic, but for the first two episodes it holds together.

Then episode 3 arrives and, well... 'the center does not hold.' as someone wiser than myself once said.

I'm trying to avoid spoilers, so I'll deliberately remain vague -- sort of....

Richard Dreyfuss is listed as a main character, but he gets short shrift and doesn't even appear in Episode 3.

In fact, I suspect they wrote episode 3 after showing Episode 1 and listening to a bunch of 13 year old SyFy fans who were in a wheezing rage wondering what 'that ole geezer' was doing in a Sci Fi flick.

Sorry kids, I appreciate your aesthetic, but golly, Richard could have really upped the ante on this flick -- if TPTB would have given him something to work with! The movie hints at a few interesting ideas that simply become lost in the mire.

One important hint is that the Tin Man worked for the Mystic Man (Dreyfus) -- What? Run that past again. When we see the Mystic Man he is a shyster con man who's been fried by the villain with a strange drug. But he must have once had more going on. But we never find out. Instead, Episode 3 takes us after The Seeker, who essentially takes over the Mystic Man's role -- only in the guise of a nonentity who functions as a place holder as we trudge along toward the (predictable) ending.

Now the ending isn't too bad, lots of nice flash and bang and a resolution to a redemption theme set up at the end of Episode 2.

Unfortunately, once we more or less realize what's going on (at the end of epi 2) the story just unwinds in a predictable pattern.

My guess is that the original author had a darker take on the O.Z., one in which Richard D and perhaps some others would have had a place to wiggle. But TPTB decided to fluff things up a bit and likely brought in a few hacks to pound out a new improved 3rd act, dump the best actor of the bunch (Richard D, of course), and splice everything together with a twisty tie and a nod to the gods of the sacred cliche.

Well, enough.

I give it 3 of 5 smilies for 2 great episodes, Richard Dreyfus and a cute heroine.

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