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I’m surprised how much I liked this movie. For starters, the visuals and special effects are FANTASTIC. If you’re a fan of Avatar-like visuals, this alone makes the movie worth seeing. At a little over 2 hours long, make sure you pee before the movie starts. ^_^
The plot follows Oscar aka Oz (played by Mr. James Franco) from his traveling carnival magician days to the land of Oz in this prequel directed by the fabulous Sam Raimi. Michelle Williams plays a slightly one dimensional version of Glinda the Good. It’s a wee flat, but not flat enough to be annoying. Rachel Weisz (I can’t believe she’s over 40!) does a great job as Evanora, one of the evil witches and older sister to Theodora played by Mila Kunis. Which brings me to my only real gripe about this movie, but this may not be entirely her fault.
The movie is PG and clearly shooting to be a family-friendly movie. Because of this, it’s a tad cheesy in places and pretty much the reason why I think Glinda’s character was written with so little range. Theodora’s character had a lot of issues. The movie wants me to believe that Theodora is this innocent (and so not on the up and up) young girl who falls for Oscar when he first gets to Oz. But he’s a rolling stone and thinks nothing of using his typical seduction game on her. (Which is hilarious, by the way.) Evadora uses this to finally get Theodora to her side in a scene that is as weird as it is unconvincing. I was never convinced that Theodora really didn’t know her sister was wicked.
And therein lies the problem with her entire character arc. The fault could be on anyone: Raimi, the screenwriters, Kunis, or simply the fact that because they were trying to make it so family friendly, they simply couldn’t do that character justice. However, the makeup for the green Wicked Witch is phenomenal and that almost completely makes up for it. (It really does.)
James Franco did a wonderful job in this movie and is one of the reasons why I like this movie so much. The overall plot is highly creative and well-imagined. The only thing I would change if I could is the approach to the rating. PG is fine, but I would have gone for a darker PG like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I would have let the darkness in the plot really shine and scared all the children, but that’s just me liking stuff like that. ^_^
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the movie.
Don’t forget your popcorn and soda. Lol!