James Franco, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis altogether, one film? Exciting times. This is what I was thinking when I sat down to watch Oz The Great and Powerful.,
Don’t get me wrong, it was exciting. But not for the reasons that you’re thinking. You do follow a yellow brick road, there’s a green wicked witch and of course there’s a tornado – but unfortunately none of this is just a dream and in reality you’re stuck waiting for some magic to happen. You might want to rename this film “The Great and Powerful Cheese” for the stinky nonsense that occurs throughout the 130 wasted hours you bear while wearing the most ridiculous 3D glasses (only to watch everything happen in 2D).
The movie begins with an unpromising note – you’re witnessing a miserable con artist Oz (James Franco) in Kansas City working a terrible carnival magic show whilst simultaneously trying to hook up with an audience member. But that’s not even the worst part. This is all done in black and white, there’s dramatic music and lots of wind, and then MIchelle Williams shows up, blowing in the wind looking all mysterious and whatnot. There’s a random escape scene which is probably the most entertaining moment in the entire film. Oz escapes on a hot air balloon, gets caught in a tornado and finds himself in the land of Oz. And that’s when you lose the will to carry on watching.
What confuses me about the film is who the target audience is. Is it meant for kids under thirteen that are learning a modern take on the classic tale about the Wizard of Oz or is it meant for drunken teenagers that want to poke fun at James Franco acting in a role completely unfit for him? Sorry, there’s actually a moral to the story. You can find goodness even in the most horrible, deceiving of men as long as there’s a pretty girl like Michelle Williams that “believes in you.” In fact, being good can be better than being great, because there’s nothing better than a good man. Wait, let’s get back to the 21st century and forget this.
The fundamental problem with Oz The Great and Powerful is the awkward correlation to the Batman series. Oz is a bad guy that has all the elements of being good, but needs a little push to see that the real enemy is himself. Sure, we’d all like to be Christopher Nolan, but the direction done by Sam Raimi basically asks these A-list celebrities to talk in a slow, cryptic English that makes the audience cringe every time “the wizard came to save us from the wicked witch.”
Who would have thought a few fireworks and some amateur cinematography could fool the wickedest of all witches? You spend every minute waiting for some real magic to happen but are utterly unimpressed with the sub-par performance that stupefies a land that obviously hasn’t witnessed the sad acts of a small-town carnival fair.
Oz The Great and Powerful is released in UK cinemas this Friday, 8th March.]]>