We know Dorothy’s story of visiting the Land of Oz, but where did the powerful and almighty wizard of Oz come from? 2013’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” satisfies our curiosity.
So it’s the story of Oscar “Oz” Diggs (James Franco), a con artist stage magician who stumbles upon the Land of Oz after being carried there in his hot air balloon during a tornado (which seems to be the only way to get there!). Almost immediately after a rough landing, he encounters a witch named Theodora (Mila Kunis) who takes a liking to him and takes him for the all powerful wizard of Oz that (according to prophecy) would kill the wicked witch. Oscar plays along seeing as he likes the attention and potential perks of being “the wizard”, but soon comes to discover the challenges that lay ahead.
Evaluation: Rachel Weisz, who plays Evanora, does a fantastic job playing a strong, yet evil wicked witch, who for a while, has everyone fooled. Before looking up the cast, I would have laughed at anyone who told me her real age (44 years), because she looks much younger in the film. Her costume and over all appearance makes her one of the best witches I’ve ever seen. Beauty covering evil is such a good combination.
The start of the film was dull, lifeless, and black and white just as the original “The Wizard of Oz”. During my first viewing of the film, I almost gave up on it only a few minutes in. But if you can get past the beginning, the rest of the film is an interesting treat. James Franco is a good actor who has taken on so many different roles, but he seems to have had some trouble adjusting to this one. I detected a sort of awkwardness with his role of Oscar. It’s hard to put my finger on it directly, but it’s noticeable while watching the movie.
Overall it’s a good film, no better, no worse. It is better than I had imagined it would be, and I actually never planned on watching it in the first place, but ended up viewing it in theater along with another movie it was paired with.
Total Abstract Rating: 75% There wasn’t enough creativity where it was needed, but it wasn’t a complete waste of time.