“The Wizard of Oz” is that classic obligatory movie we always watch during the holiday season. Despite the wizard being the go-to guy for Dorothy in the film, the origins of the man behind the curtain were unknown until now.
That’s where “Oz the Great and Powerful” comes in. This prequel to the 1939 film is an entire character profile on how Oz, the man, became the great wizard.
Paying homage to its predecessor, the film begins in black-and-white Kansas where struggling magician and con man Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is determined to be more than just a simple man.
His world is transformed into a world of vibrant color and excitement. He meets three witches: Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams) who bring loads of drama for Oz as they claim he is the prophesied wizard who will save them all.
The main characters just try too hard to make a statement. Franco is taking his method acting a little too seriously. There was no transformation from actor to character.
Kunis is terribly miscast as Theodora. She plays the gullible witch gone bad, and it isn’t pretty. This role makes her seem like she has little acting experience. You can’t take her seriously as the Wicked Witch; you’re expecting her to crack a joke at any second.
It’s the supporting characters who remain the most memorable.
Finley the Monkey (Zach Braff) and China Girl (Joey King) are Oscar’s cohorts in his attempt to save the land. These characters are the ones who provide the most endearing moments and the biggest laughs.
The supporting characters aren’t enough to make this film great and powerful. Unlike “The Wizard of Oz”, this film doesn’t capture the magic of the original yellow brick road; it all feels like one big con masked in CGI effects.
Dive Verdict: ??1/2
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