The Good, The Bad, and The Weird: “Oz the Great and Powerful” Lacks Greatness, Power


Okay, this is going to be a short one. Sam Raimi’s “Wizard of Oz” prequel/reimagining/what-have-you is not awful, per se. It is simply … Empty. I watched the film a little less than a week ago, and I barely recall a single detail. It is nothing cinema.

The Good:

  • I will give Raimi credit for casting. The sheer concept of James Franco as the Wizard is utterly, bizarrely absurd. Yes, he is miscast, but it is fun watching him play the part, as if this is yet another meta-move from the man whose recent efforts include “Spring Breakers,” a “Cruising” pastiche, and god knows what else. I did not buy him here for a second, but he was still a joy to behold.
  • More casting: I adore Mila Kunis, and quite like Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz. So kudos …
  • Oh, the black and white opening was lovely.

The Bad:

  • Pretty much everything else. Not a moment felt original or gripping. It’s an inoffensive but horribly wasteful creation.

The Weird:

  • Zach Braff? Odd choice.
  • Seriously … James Franco? I mean, REALLY?

It all adds up to a two-star effort, and that’s being generous. I’d expect better from Sam Raimi, but we are talking about the director of “Spider-Man 3,” so … Why should I?


Photo: Michelle Williams stars as Glinda in Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz: The Great and Powerful” (2013)

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