Oz the Great and Powerful
tells the origin story of the great wizard Oz, who begins as a lowly fraud wizard in the state of Kansas until he unexpectedly ends up in the magical land of Oz.
The movie is, on a whole, visually pleasing. The environments look like they came out of a fantasy book, the colours are vivid and lively and the world is very pretty.
The plot is rather simplistic, with the expected fairy tale cliches, but enjoyable enough. The residents of Oz are quirky and funny. Finley the flying monkey is welcome comic relief, while China Girl easily steals the show. I'm not sure whether puppeteer work was involved, but she moves naturally, and is just another part of the world of Oz instead of tacked-on CG.
While the comic relief characters mostly work, our main cast...well, the result is mixed. Franco doesn't ultimately feel like he captures the whimsical charm of a lovable conman. He is ok, but not great. Glinda was mostly dull, but for the typical "good fairy" role, Michelle Williams did an adequate job. Rachel Weisz
was probably the best out of the leading cast. Having not previously seen her in a villainous role, she managed to capture the role of the wicked, vain sorceress without turning obnoxious or narmy, for the most part.
was, sadly, the most disappointing part of this movie. Her initial performance as a good witch was boring and uninteresting. Instead of feeling like a character, she was just...there. Her change into the wicked witch felt forced, so instead of inciting pity or any kind of emotion, it just yields a big meh
. We lack the incentive to care, because we see so little of her. Why does Evanora infuence her so easily? Is she predisposed to wickedness? We get a hint or two, but this is never followed on, instead jumping directly to her wicked witch self. Mila Kunis
's performance as the wicked witch is somewhat better, but still lacking. Theodora on the whole ended up as an underwhelming, flat character.
In the end, the movie is a good two-hour popcorn masher with plenty of visual candy fluff, but don't expect it to blow you away. It has its own flavour, but it falls short.