Hurry! Hurry! Step right up! The greatest show on Earth is about to begin…well, one of the most expensive shows of 2013 is about to begin. Disney’s $200,000,000 big budget film Oz The Great and Powerful is finally here for many fans that have been waiting with baited breath, but does it live up to the hype?
Although, Disney who’s given us masterpieces like The Little Mermaid, Lion King, and Mary Poppins to name a few, are the pockets behind the film, it is still a take on L. Frank Baum’s classic tales of the faraway land of Oz. This story has been told by many but not all have given due justice to the original works. Can the mouse work his magic? Or do we pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?
Oz The Great and Powerful, directed by Sam Raimi, serves as a prequel to Dorothy ever dropping her house upon a witch. It’s focus is Oscar Diggs (James Franco), or as everyone refers to him as…Oz. He is a con man who serves as a chauvinistic magician in Baum’s circus with a cheesy grin wrapped in a second hand suit. He is only concerned about the his next step, even if it involves stepping on someone else. One day his luck runs out because of his insatiable appetite of the fairer sex, and the fact that she is betrothed to the strong man. This causes him to flee in the infamous hot air balloon unbenownst of a TWISTER in it’s path. This leads our protagonist over the rainbow and into the land of Oz, where the prophecy decrees a great wizard will fall from the sky and deliver the good people from the clutches of the wicked witch.
I’m going to stop right there. I could go on and tell how each witch is introduced, if there are munchkins in this one (of course there are), and the situations that makes our leading man open his eyes…but I won’t. That would be me giving you a play by play of the movie. Then, what would be the point of you going to see it?
What I will tell you is how well this prequel is received will determine if another movie is in the works. Visually, the effects are stunning. I’m not a big fan of 3-D, but Disney used it appropriately. There was no overkill. I wouldn’t recommend a child under 8 seeing it in the 3-D because of the ferocious flying monkeys and few other elements that are jolted in your face to give your seat a quick break from your bum. I give the casting choices a 7 out of 10. The film includes Mila Kunis (Theodora), Rachel Weisz (Evanora), Michelle Williams (Annie/Glinda), and Zach Braff (Frank/Finley). In my opinion, Mila Kunis gives the standout performance when she makes her turn (spoiler alert) to becoming oh.. so… very…wicked.
The running time of 2 hours and 10 minutes is fair, but could have been shaved with a few scenes that aren’t too significant to the plot. With that said, it’s a good film that enables the viewer to have an experience that the theater is supposed to emit; a chance to escape realism and journey to make believe. A tip of the hat to the computer engineering department for this production. A word of advice to all the pretty girls: “Be kind to nerds, for they shall one day rule the world.”
Oz The Great and Powerful opens nationwide March 8th, watch the trailer here.