Not Great, Not Powerful, but Not Bad

We went to see “The Wizard of Oz” prequel “Oz the Great and Powerful” a few weeks ago. I can think of a bunch of reasons to bash the film, but none of them compel me to care enough about the weaknesses. In the end, I found the film to be harmless and entertaining despite its faults.

OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFULI think this happened because it seemed, at times, as if the people who made the movie didn’t care if we found things lacking in places. Some of the green screen stuff was so obvious that I figured they just wanted us to come along for the ride.

James Franco has a lot of fun with the lead role of Oscar “Oz” Diggs, who is transformed from carnival magician to presumed savior of the Emerald City. I liked the way they tied his original position to the resolution of his problems in Oz.

Rachael Weisz, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis do a great job as the witches, but Kunis stands out because, well, she’s Mila Kunis. I see a Brian in her future or at least for her outfit in the first half of the movie.

The monkey and china doll voiced, respectively, by Zach Braff and Joey King didn’t really resonate with me, but they had to have some fun with the equipment and storyline so I just rolled with it.

In the end, even the predictable nature of the story didn’t bother me because it seemed like a lot of energy and enjoyment went into the project. Like the Sherlock Holmes movies, I know they have to make a franchise so I just don’t want them to mail it in.

I might not line up for the next segment in this series, because we all know that’s coming, but I wouldn’t run away from it either.


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