Diggs (James Franco) is a con man magician. He is smooth and romances all of
the women and travels with a circus in Kansas in 1905. A tornado travels as he escapes in a balloon from a strong
man performer who wants to hurt him. The tornado takes him to the alien land
of Oz where he meets a witch named Theodora (Mila Kunis) and learns of a prophecy made by Theodora’s father made before
he died about a wizard with the name of the land that would come to save Oz from the Wicked Witch. Oscar takes advantage of that and he travels with Theodora and Finley the Flying Monkey to the Emerald City where he meets Evanora (Rachel Weisz) who doesn’t trust Oscar
for her own reasons. She sends him on his quest to kill the Wicked Witch and
soon he finds out Glinda (Michelle Williams) aka the Good Witch of the North has been a victim of the real Wicked Witch’s
plan to rule and control Oz.
OZ THE GREAT
AND POWERFUL is a beautiful visual film with a paper thin plot and flat performances from every main actor involved. I enjoyed the movie, but it doesn’t stand out to me even though I will probably
go see the sequel. It does lay the groundwork for the origin stories of the many
characters you will eventually see in THE WIZARD OF OZ and this prequel takes place 20 years before Dorothy comes to visit
It is a safe
dark film for all ages, but it doesn’t have the emotional heart like THE WIZARD OF OZ (even though I hate the musical
pieces in that movie). Director Sam Raimi once had considered Robert Downey
Jr. for the role of Oscar Diggs, but sadly that didn’t come to pass. I
admire James Franco wanting to do a million things like write, direct, and act, but I have a feeling that Robert Downey Jr.
would have brought a whole different level of energy to Oscar Diggs that was missing from every single character in this movie. OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL cost over $200 million to make (including marketing
costs) and it will probably at least break even after making lots of money. You
can go see it now or wait for the DVD and blu-ray release. Either way doesn’t
make a difference since it isn’t the fantastic charm that ALICE IN WONDERLAND was as a movie.
review is (c)3-12-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org