Franco and Kunis and Williams ‘Oh No’: A McMovie review of the not-so-powerful ‘Oz’

By JACOB MCKEE

Staff Writer

Last week, I went to see Disney’s prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” called “Oz the Great and Powerful.” 

After the movie, I heard one of my friends call it “Oz the Great and Terrible,” and that could not be more accurate. 

Perhaps the audience most hurt by this film is the diehard fans of L. Frank Baum’s books on Oz. 

Though I’m not an avid reader of Baum’s books, I’m led to believe that this movie is not at all an accurate representation of his world. 

Generally, it’s not a good representation of anything, and the weakest parts of the movie are its lead characters. 

Principally, this means James Franco. Franco is an actor who is really hit or miss with me, but this is perhaps his biggest miss. 

And it might have something to do with the fact that he is working again with “Spider-man” director Sam Raimi. 

His performances in “Spider-man” and its sequels were not exactly top notch, at least in this reviewer’s opinion and definitely in comparison to his performances in films like “127 Hours.” 

So, to you, James Franco, I offer a word of advice: 

Stay away from Sam Raimi. Stay far away. 

In fact, that should be a policy all actors live by, as the three witches were all played by wonderful actresses with prolific careers that somehow seemed to have their talent squashed by this movie. 

Mila Kunis, who can do funny and serious to perfection, somehow missed the mark playing Theodora in this film. 

Her chemistry with Franco is nonexistent, and her acting can be described in one simple word: bad. 

Rachel Weisz, who plays Evanora, usually knows how to steer clear of bad movies; she didn’t reprise her role in the third and definitely terrible “Mummy” movie, presumably because she could see what Brendan Fraser couldn’t: the script was awful. 

Michelle Williams, who plays Glinda the Good, stands above the rest, but her own performance is hindered because she tries really hard to emulate the Glinda of the original film while still putting her own spin on it. 

Really, the shining light of the whole film is a heartwarming storyline involving a little girl made out of china; not like the country, like the tea sets. 

Franco is at his best when interacting with her, even if he doesn’t ever really appear to be looking directly at her, and the storyline will bring a smile to your face and maybe even a tear to your eye. 

Both of these are things that the rest of the movie will couldn’t offer you in a million years.

Overall, this movie is not the best. 

It has some moments that rise above the problems, but for the majority of its screen time, you’ll find yourself laughing at it for all the wrong reasons. 

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