It’s been quite some time since I last went to the movie theater and a friend suggested we go see Oz the Great and Powerful on Saturday. Now I’ve been skeptical about this movie because I was afraid it was going to be another Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton. But when I heard that Sam Rami, the man responsible for Evil Dead 1-2, Army of Darkness and the Spiderman Trilogy, I wanted to give it a shot.
First thing to know before I get a little in depth is that yes, this movie is good. Is it Oscar worthy? No. Does it have fantastic acting? Not really. Does this movie know exactly what it is? Yes! Is it funny? Yes! Is it entertaining? Yes times 100! Oz The Great and Powerful was a joyride and worth seeing while it’s in 3-D at the theaters.
Here’s a quick summary of the plot: Oscar Diggs (James Franco), aka Oz the Great and Powerful, is a circus magician who is a real jerk. One day during his show, a tornado hits and he is magically transported to the Land of Oz. While in Oz, he is mistaken for a legendary hero who is a Wizard who shares the same name as their homeland and is destined to be the ruler of Oz. During his travels in Oz, Oscar makes friends with some unlikely creatures including Finley (Zach Braff), the flying monkey, China Girl (Joey King), a living China Doll and Glenda the Good Witch (Michelle Williams). Together, all four friends must fight against the Wicked Witches of the East (Rachel Weisz) and West (Mila Kunis) and free Oz from their… well… wicked-ness!
Although the plot is nothing special, it’s still a fun story that really wanted to pay homage to the original Wizard of Oz. The dialogue is a little hammy but the jokes are funny for both kids and adults. My friend and I went to see the movie in 3-D and holy cow it looked great! I mean, I am not a big fan of 3-D because I get motion sick and my biggest complaint with 3-D is that the screen becomes a shade darker making it difficult to see lighter scenes. But this movie is coated in bright color shades and good lighting so that the glasses hardly affect my vision. Plus the visuals were not as jarring to look at. If this movie’s camera moved around like one of the Jason Borne movies, I would have left the theater nauseous.
The acting is in the middle but it isn’t awful. It seems like everyone is having fun. One role that did stick out tremendously was of Joey King as the China Doll. She did an excellent job playing the voice of the character and the visuals of the character look great. Finley obviously looks like a CG monkey and a lot of the green screen stuff does look fake. However, China Girl actually looked like a moving doll. The scene when Oz is gluing her feet back on was amazing. James Franco is okay as Oz but he had some rather funny moments like when he’s trying to hold his footing inside a giant bubble. Zach Braff was enjoyable as Finley. He didn’t have an annoying cartoon voice and he had some of my favorite jokes in the film. It was hard for me to take Mila Kunis seriously. When she’s acting all evil, I can’t help but to hear Meg from Family Guy. Whenever she said something menacing, I silently said to myself “shut up, Meg.” She tries her best but it’s just a me problem.
I recommend this movie to anyone who just wants to enjoy a movie. This movie isn’t going to philosophically interest film buffs. If you’ve got kids or younger siblings, then take them to see this in 3-D and they will love what’s going on. It’s a highly entertaining movie that moves quickly. I never noticed the movie was 2 hours long until I looked at my watch. So go and see this movie!
Don’t forget to follow me, Greg “Philly-G” Broderick on Twitter @Philly_Gsteak and tune in to WCRXFM and WCRXFM.com every Saturday from noon to three to hear the latest hits and the craziest rants!