Oz The Great and Powerful

Jays Rating:

Sam Raimi directs a prequel to the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, in the action-adventure-fantasy film, Oz the Great and Powerful. The year is 1905 in Kansas and a circus magician named Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is caught in a tornado while flying in a hot air balloon. He is blown all over the place and eventually goes down a waterfall and finds himself in a colorful magical land called Oz. At the waters edge, he meets a pretty witch named Theodora (Mila Kunis) who takes him to the Emerald City to meet her somewhat nasty sister named Evanora (Rachel Weisz). They think he is the powerful wizard that ancient prophets said will fall from the sky, so they tell him of a wicked witch that he is destined to kill. When they send him on his way he meets a beautiful witch named Glinda (Michelle Williams) who he finds to be the nice witch and she tells him he needs to save Oz from the real wicked witches. (By now, I’m surprised the newly appointed wizard wasn’t as confused as I was.) On the way to meet the witches, he befriends a flying monkey named Finley (Zach Braff) and a China Girl (Joey King) who help him battle the witches and their flying baboons. People had a lot of expectations for this film and Sam Raimi does a great job with plenty of computer graphics, eye- popping 3D, and colorful scenery. (Since I couldn’t see any of those things colorful characters sure would have helped!) The China Girl and the 3 witches were interesting but James Franco needed a little magic so the audience would care about his character. It really wasn’t Franco’s fault but he wasn’t able to bring anything to the weak script. There doesn’t seem to be any type of emotional connection between the characters like we had in the great classic in 1939. I was happy to hear some singing come from the Munchkins but it was quickly cut off and not heard again. (Come on – you can’t go wrong with singing and dancing munchkins.) When leaving the theater I heard a child say it was a great movie and his dad said it seemed to be a little long. This is great for kids but long means no real story to keep adults interested and somebody has to bring the kiddies. They can’t just click their heels together and show up at the theater and then back home like Dorothy did in The Wizard of Oz. This film is mildly entertaining but not exciting and I’m giving it a B- rating.