Oz: The Great And Powerful is a fantasy adventure directed by Sam Raimi, serving as a prequel to the story of The Wizard Of Oz, showing how the wizard Oz came to be in the land of Oz and gained his title, the film stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Joey King.
Disney crafts a somewhat interesting prequel story to The Wizard Of Oz, showing us the personal story of Oz and how he became the famed wizard, James Franco is an interesting casting choice as Oz, a street magician and con man who winds up magically in Oz. While the supporting cast performs to mixed levels, Mila Kunis is alright as Theodora but a bit hammy in her role as the story progresses, while Rachel Weisz as Evanora cuts a more convincingly solid character. The film doesn’t have that many characters so it does heavily rely on Ozs’ personal journey, as he discovers Oz and the fantastical elements, creatures and features of the land and while the story does work, it also feels a bit soulless. Franco isn’t a bad actor at all but he’s a tad out of his depth in the role, he sells the sleazy con man side to the character well, but isn’t at all a convincing and iconic figure, though the way the film sells the way that he gains the mantle of Oz is somewhat well done. Though making an entire film out of the the answer to the question of the origin of Oz feels a bit unnecessary.
That being said, the film looks good enough visually and different parts of the land of Oz look interesting and vibrant but the film is also oddly tonally balanced, with things gradually getting darker as the story goes on, while characters like Finley (Zach Braff) the flying monkey who works for Oz keeps things light and humorous. There is some tension later on the film as we eventually see the Wicked witch of the west rise to power as well as some easter eggs and nods to The Wizard Of Oz but ironically this just serves to remind you of how good The Wizard of Oz is, this film just feels a bit odd tonally.
I suppose people didn’t really invest too much into the story because they felt it was too full of CGI and because they didn’t like the performances in the film and that is a fair assessment to a prequel that no one really wanted, it looks okay visually and seeing various parts of Oz was a nice touch but ultimately the story falls a bit flat and it’s way wide of the mark in relation to The Wizard Of Oz and it’s iconic status in film.
. Has some nice visuals
. Some of the acting falls a bit flat
. Story feels a bit predictable, dull