Movies in a minute

The concise critics

Oz the Great and Powerful

Year : 2013 Director : Sam Raimi Running Time : 130 minutes Genre : ,
Movie review score
3/5

What’s it about?
A tornado hurls a small-time huckster magician, Oscar (James Franco), into a Wonderland-esque land overseen by three witchy sisters (Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz). And where there be witches, there be wickedness. Which witch is which? (Spoiler: green face, hooked schnoz, much cackling.) Oscar, mistaken for a powerful wizard and rightful ruler, befriends a few locals and tries to keep the joint safe. Just in case a scarecrow, tin man, lion and Judy Garland turn up, in a far superior film, made 70 years beforehand.

What did we think?
Ben says: Well, we’re off to see the wizardry, the wonderful visual-effects wizardry of Oz. And we get it – in a Skittles explosion of rainbow-hued CG. We also get a gorgeous, crippled china doll who steals the film and cured this reviewer of his lifelong detestation for porcelain dolls. But Oz’s other fantastical curiosities pale next to the 1939 original: winged monkeys are replaced with winged baboons; Munchkins are now the ethnically inclusive Midget Union of North America; and instead of an engaging, rogueish wizard, we get James Franco, as James Franco. In top hat.

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One Response so far.

  1. Early in the movie, the character Oz declares he doesn’t want to be good: he wants to be great. Alas, his film will have to settle for the former. It’s fun, colourful and even impressive in parts but this movie doesn’t quite reach any great heights. There’s not much actually wrong with it other than trying to be both an adult and kids movie (and failing) but there’s nothing to rave about other than the stunning china doll.

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