The Land of Oz has held a place really dear to my heart since I first fell in love with the original film phenomenon, “The Wizard of Oz” as a kid. 74 years later a prequel, “Oz: The Great and Powerful” has appeared to dazzle children back to the The Land of Oz once again.
James Franco plays the character of “Oscar “Oz” Diggs“, a travelling circus magician that doesn’t want to be just “good” but “great” in the things he desires to achieve. Despite these dreams, he actually has not achieved much in his life and is unexpectedly whisked off to a magical world where people think he’s an actual wizard with magical powers. Along the way he meets with, Mila Kunis‘ character, “Theodora the Good Witch“, Rachel Weisz‘s character, “Evanora” who protector of the Emerald City and former advisor to the original king of Oz, and “Glinda” played by Michelle Williams.
For me, the storyline was pretty self explanatory in the simple story of “good versus evil“. The film is great for all ages and is a great family film to take the kids. However, I personally was dissatisfied with the plot and felt that James Franco‘s character being a “lady killer” was quite silly, shallow and one dimensional. I wanted to know more about him besides his silly habits and his thirst to prove himself. Actually, none of the characters really had any depth. I enjoyed Mila Kunis‘ character, Theodora but as the story progressed and changed, I did not enjoy her acting and felt that the actress may have been miscast. Rachel Weiszwas great, stunning and sly as Evanora. Michelle Williams as Glinda really frustrated me; Glinda is meant to be perky and bubbly but Williams‘ portrayal was very mannequin-like and almost sleepy. At the very least, Zach Braff was quite refreshing for the short time that he is on-screen in the film. His voice acting however isn’t so great either.
Visually, Oz: The Great and Powerful is stunning. I watched the film in 3Dwhich really was a great experience and preferred for this film. The special effects are great as well as the costumes. My favourite costume would be Theodora‘s red get-up with the giant hat and her little red jacket, I just loved that outfit.
Overall, Oz: The Great and Powerful pales in comparison with it’s predecessor as it just doesn’t have the same magic that The Wizard of Oz had. The plotline is okay, the acting is average, but I think the film is okay enough for the original creator if he were still alive, L. Frank Baum to be satisfied with the results and for children to still enjoy it despite its flaws.
If you want to check this film out, why not? If you must see it, see it in 3D as I did. It’s good, but it’s no-where near great.