OZ: The Great and Powerful
Perhaps not this time around but…
Overall not bad. This movie was definitely what I’d call a popcorn muncher. You sit down not expecting anything great and drink soda and popcorn (Harkins, thank god for your loyalty cups and shirts) and be visually wowed for two hours. Oz is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz who is conveniently named Oz as well, short for Oscar Diggs. So you have James Franco playing Oz who is a Kansas city con-man shuffling tricks in a traveling circus, who has an eye for any female and bigger eyes for money, sounds like a savior to me. The biggest problem with Oz is the casting of James Franco as Oz. James Franco is a great actor (such as 127 Hours and Pineapple Express) but he just doesn’t make me believe he is the Wizard. Franco himself seems uncomfortable on the screen, which in turn makes the audience uncomfortable.
In regards to the story it is very straight-forward: Good vs. Evil. Oz arrives in Oz and meets Theodora (Mila Kunis), who is not the evil witch and informs Oz that he is the WIzard to save them from the evil witch and restore the land to peace. Oz only agrees to be the wizard after Theordora’s sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz) shows Oz a HUGE mountain of gold and promises the power to rule the land. Quite the large ego to fill. All he has to do is go to the dark forest and destroy the evil witch.
Along the way, Oz meets a flying monkey named Finley (voiced by Zach Braff) and saves a porcelain doll (voiced by Joey King). They tag along with Oz to go fight the evil witch. Once they reach the evil forest…they discover the evil witch is really Glinda (Michelle Williams) who is the good witch in hiding. Once the truth is discovered…and Glinda knows Oz is not a powerful and magical wizard, she just believes in him. She believes that he will help free the people of Oz.
I don’t want to reveal too much as to what happens, because I do recommend watching the movie. I will say that the funniest parts of the movie are Finley and the people of Oz. I will also say that they are the most entertaining, everyone else steals the show but Franco’s Oz just creeps people out.
The special effects are absolutely wonderful. It is MUCH different than the actual Oz from The Wizard of Oz. It looks closer to Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp. You get plenty of bams, whizzes, alakazams, and booms. It is visually beautiful.
Overall, the story is passable, the visual effects stunning, and the acting great (except for Franco…). So like I said earlier, it is a two hour popcorn muncher to be visually-wowed.