Before Dorothy and Toto blew into town, and before the ruby slippers, Oz was no wizard – he was a struggling circus magician searching for greatness. In Oz the Great and Powerful, Oz (James Franco) is transported by a tornado to the wonderful land of Oz Once in Oz, he meets Theodora (Mila Kunis) who tells him about the prophecy that says a great magician will come to defeat the wicked witch, save the people of Oz, and inherit the fortune…..the fortune comes after he defeats the witch of course.
Oz’s self centered interests and greed lead to him pretending he’s great wizard in the prophecy. He’s introduced to Theodora’s sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz) who immediately sends him on a journey to defeat the evil witch Glinda (Michelle Williams). Along the way Oz is joined by Finley (voiced by Zach Braff), the bellboy flying monkey, and China Girl (voiced by Joey King).
The trio’s journey from the warm inviting Emerald City to a small town full of munchkins and farmers reveals what the wicked witch’s true intentions are. Oz is faced with leaving the kingdom or seeing if he can be the wizard the people need him to be.
Franco brings charm to the role of Oz as only James Franco can. His portrayal of Oz as a opportunistic, self centered ladies man adds new layers to a character audiences feel they already know. Franco works well with director Sam Raimi who is great at pulling performances out of his actors. Raimi uses clever ways to showcase the film’s characters and allow the actors to be front and center in a film that’s 80% CGI.
The Great and Powerful is funnier than the previews suggest, and also has a few genuinely touching moments. Oz and China Girl’s touching first encounter is a Disney tear jerker that’s guaranteed to leave a few misty eyes in the theater.
Those moments don’t happen enough.
With the great cast, $200 million budget, and jaw dropping imagery, Oz the Great and Powerful was set to be one of the year’s best films. As entertaining as The Great and Powerful is, the film feels out of place. Maybe 74 years is a little too long of a layoff between films.
The Great and Powerful’s lack of connectivity is not a choice made by the directors or writers – most of the film’s inability connect to the 1939 classic comes from the Disney v. Warner Bros. war over Wizard of Oz trademarks. The film is rich with Oz like décor but is missing the important Oz characteristics that made Oz a household name.
3D or 2D: 2D
Source Article from http://blog.seattlepi.com/peoplescritic/2013/03/08/review-oz-the-great-and-powerful/
Review: Oz the Great and Powerful – Seattle Post Intelligencer (blog)
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