Reel Views: Great and powerful, indeed
Oz The Great and Powerful stars Mila Kunis, James Franco, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz.
You know that all you have to do is follow the yellow brick road. You know that the lion had courage all along. You know that in order to get back to Kansas, you must click your heels together and say, “There's no place like home.” Maybe the part of the story that you don't know is what happened in the land of Oz before Dorothy and her little dog ever showed up.
Oz The Great and Powerful is set years before the original 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and tells the story of how the colourful cast of characters came to be who they are. Directed by Sam Raimi, known for directing the cult classic The Evil Dead, Oz The Great and Powerful begins its tale in 1880 when con man Oscar is ripped away from his work at a travelling circus into the eye of a tornado. He soon finds himself in the land of Oz. Upon arrival, Oscar is introduced to Theodora, her sister Evanora and, of course, the lovely Glinda, and in good time each and every one of them evolves into the beloved characters they are destined to become.
Sure, the story of Oz The Great and Powerful is enough to captivate your interests, but what's really phenomenal about this flick is the cast and how they come together to bring their characters to life so charismatically. The cast is headed up by James Franco, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams as Oscar, Theodora and Glinda, respectively.
Is there anything that James Franco can't do to absolute perfection? Watching him play Oscar would lead one to believe that no, there isn't. Franco is known for taking on some pretty heavy roles, like that of Aron Ralston in 127 Hours and as Scott Smith in Milk, yet he manages to play the lighter roles, including Oscar, in a manner that is every bit a work of serious acting. Franco lights up the screen and provides genuine entertainment each and every moment that he is present in the film.
Kunis takes on the role of Theodora and, much like all her past performances, Kunis shows her incredible talent for acting. It's also a nice change of pace to see her looking perhaps just a little less than perfect.
Playing the good to Kunis' bad is Williams as Glinda. Williams has gained much critical acclaim for her work in My Week with Marilyn, and audiences are sure to love her equally in Oz The Great and Powerful. Williams is sweet and lovely and Glinda just makes viewers feels good about life.
Amongst the numerous adaptations that are currently filling up movie theatres, Oz: The Great and Powerful is truly a rare gem. It is neither tired nor unoriginal. In fact, the flick proves to be so entertaining from start to finish that you'll be wishing for more the moment the credits begin to roll.
If you're looking for something fun and fresh at the theatre, or if you're a die-hard Wizard of Oz fan, then definitely check this one out!
Rating: 5 out of 5