Monday, April 1, 2013
Oz the Great and Powerful - Movie Review
Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zack Braff, Joey King, Bill Cobbs and Tony Cox. Directed by Sam Raimi.
Sam Raimi does to Oz what Tim Burton essentially did to Wonderland. He's created a magical world more concerned with special effects and set pieces than in creating a timeless tale, and so as the years pass, most will forget it ever happened.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed a lot of it. I liked meeting new sidekicks, like the talking winged monkey and the Little China Girl. The 3D effects were well-done. But...
James Franco is miscast as Oscar Zoroaster, a carnival con-man who gets swept up by a cyclone one black-and-white day in 1905. He lands in the land of color, in a lake where the good witch Theodora (Kunis) happens to be walking by. She mistakes him for the wizard, foretold by prophecy (whose prophecy?) to free the land of Oz from the reign of the wicked witch.
This is a prequel to the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz moreso than a prequel to the books, and when it comes to Oz prequels, Wicked had a better origin story. This movie leaves itself room for a sequel that'd still fit in between this and when Dorothy arrives. Since this one ends all happy-fuzzy, maybe that movie will show the Wizard of Oz regress into the cowardly agorophobe who sends a young girl off to go kill the Wicked Witch herself.
I liked Return to Oz more.