Oz: The Great and Powerful

The Wizard of Oz has captured children’s and adults’ minds alike since its debut in 1939, remaining one of the most popular movies of our time. In February, The Walt Disney Company released a prequel to this magical tale entitled Oz: The Great and Powerful. Despite widespread anticipation, it was received with mostly negative results.

James Franco plays a scheming and flirtatious illusionist named Oscar who becomes wrapped up in a tornado and amazingly lives to be transported to the fantasy land known as Oz. This mirrors Dorothy Gale’s journey, as she ended up there in a similar fashion.  Oscar meets several, interesting characters along his way including three witches, played by Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz.

This film presents a plot that seems segmented and undetailed. It quickly progresses from interesting and eye-catching to horribly generic and boring fairly quickly. Although, this may remain unnoticed by children who, after all, are this film’s target audience. Fans of CGI and animation within films will adore the colors used and pictured in this version of the land of Oz.

The original wizard of Oz seemed like an alluring and mysterious character, but Franco fails to live up to these expectations. Although the charm of his character lures in two of the three witches pictured within the film, it does not do the same to the audience. By the end, he is entirely unlikable and his cheesy smile does not make up for his more evil characteristics. But, his love interest, the good witch named Glinda (Williams), manages to steal the show, as her kindness and beauty mixed with terrific acting proves successful. Several more minor characters, including a young girl made out of porcelain, luckily provide substance to a movie lacking in genuine plot.

This film is a complete waste of time. It would be a better idea to skip the $10.50 movie ticket fee and to stay at home and watch the classic, “Wizard of Oz”. You’ll save money and fall in love with the original land of Oz’s never ending sense of magic and wonderment.