“We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz.”
Most everybody has heard these words, and seen the classic film from which they are from, The Wizard of Oz, based on the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. However, the latest spinoff, Oz The Great and Powerful, does not live up to the great name of the classic. Not even close.
Predictably the film starts in black in white, somewhere in Kansas. We are introduced to the failing young Magician Oz (James Franco) who works with a traveling circus. A tornado strikes, and he is transported to the mystical land of Oz, where he then meets a good witch, Theodora (Mila Kunis). She then immediately thinks him to be the great wizard who is supposed to save the kingdom, and defeat the Wicked Witch of the West.
The pair then meets a servant monkey named Finley (voiced by Zach Braff). The group makes their way back to the palace, where they are introduced to Theodora’s sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz), who has a few secrets of her own. After Oz is shown the immense amount of gold he will receive for killing the wicked witch, he agrees to go and do the deed.
The cast had so much potential, and comes up far too short. Franco has his moments, but even this great actor can’t make anything out of the terrible script. Kunis is basically there to look good, and Weisz does a better job than she probably should have. She is the star of the cast.
Braff has some funny moments as well, and is mainly used as comic relief. Michelle Williams also stars (I shouldn’t say stars, she basically half asses her way through the entire film). Bill Cobbs and Tony Cox also provide some humor.
The script is just dreadful. I understand that the film is geared towards children, but it wouldn’t kill them to talk like adults now and again. The CGI is overpowering and looks incredibly fake. A little set work would have been nice. You can easily tell when something looks fake. And there is a lot to see.
The Wizard of Oz is considered one of the best films ever made. It’s a shame that films like Oz The Great and Powerful has to tarnish Oz’s great reputation.