Sunday, 10 March 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

The trailer for Oz the Great and Powerful (hereafter referred to as Oz) did nothing for me.  This isn’t to say that I went into Oz being overly negative but when a trailer cannot sell a film alarm bells start to ring softly in the distance.
PLOT:  Oz (James Franco) is a womanising dick and part time magician who travels around Kansas with a circus.  A freak tornado transports him to the magical kingdom of Oz where he becomes a magician and part time womanising dick.    Oz finds himself in the midst of a political thriller involving the murder of a king and a power struggle between three witches.  There is also a flying monkey (Zach Braff) and a terrifying talking doll (Satan's spawn).  END PLOT
The only complaint I have about the plot is the running length.  At 130mins Oz was far too long and I was bored for large chunks of the film.
The origin of the vast majority of my complaints is James Franco.  Franco’s lack of charm meant that Oz was very unlikeable and I didn’t care about his return to save the people of Oz.  I was routing for Rachel Weisz the entire time.
James Franco was simply awful as Oz and appeared to be attempting some bizarre homage to Johnny Depp.  If Johnny Depp cannot pull off a convincing impression of Johnny Depp anymore neither can James Franco.  The casting of Franco was a major misstep that the film never recovered from.
Mila Kunas was reduced to a screeching green wench and the casting as Michelle "blond n bland" Williams as a delicate, blond and bland princess was so perfect I think Williams should be offended by her own performance.
Thank the gods for Rachel Weisz.  Weisz is the only person to come out of this mess with a decent performance and her dignity intact.
The effects, especially when we first arrived in Oz, did not blend in well as whenever Oz and Theodora (Mila Kunis) were walking along the yellow brick road the entire scene screamed of cheap green screen.  On a film with a budget of $200million (IMDB) this is not acceptable.
Once the kingdom of Oz was established and the film tried to settle down the effects did improve and the creatures and colours on offer became quite spectacular. 
The only thing about Oz that cannot be faulted was the costume design as the witches and residents of Oz looked amazing.  Unfortunately decent costumes are not enough to make a bad film good.
I hated Oz.  I hated every single second of the 130min running time.  It is one of those films that was so bad I started to feel awkward while watching it.  I even hate the title, which I, with my casual attitude towards grammar, feel the need to punctuate.
I have no idea how a director such as Sam Raimi managed to make such a mess of what had the potential to be a very decent film.
Oz the neither great nor powerful gets a generous 2.5/10.
The only lasting impression I will get from Oz is nightmares about the china doll and Franco's shit eating grin.


  1. At the very least we can agree on Rachel Weisz being pretty great in this. I think I might see this again to be honest, I know!

    1. If I ever see it again it'll be too soon!

      James Franco killed the film for me before it ever got going.

      On another day with another actor cast I probably would have enjoyed it!

      K :-)

    2. You know that Robert Downey Jr was originally cast but he had to pull out...

    3. Yeah the girls mentioned that too.

      I could see him in the role but I am glad RDJ wasn't cast as I am getting bored with his shtick and that probably would have annoyed me as well.

      Heath Ledger could have pulled it off with his eyes closed. :-(

  2. wow, a 2,5??? Righteous. The posters looked ike Alice in Wonderland ripoffs, and the trailers were simply lame. Oh Sam Raimi, how the mighty have fallen...

    1. I hated it!

      It will feature in my 2013 list for memorable films for all the wrong reasons

      Avoid this one like the plague!

      K :-)