Oz is a great movie. I say this because when I first enter the theater, I didn’t expect I will like the film at all. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve always been a fan of Sam Raimi, but I just don’t think this re-imagined of Oz would be any good. I was wrong.
The movie is prequel to L.Frank Baum’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. While the original book has many adaptations in different forms of media, this is the first time someone tells the story from the wizard’s point of view and how he becomes the wonderful wizard of Oz. The movie stars James Franco as Oscar Diggs (Oz), a small town magician who’s also a con artist. The fateful tornado brings him to the land of the Oz one day where he met three witches- Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), and now he must begins an adventure where he has to discover himself, and rescue the poor citizens of Oz from evil forces.
The visual of the film is the key to its success. Not only does it offer really good CGI effects, Sam Raimi does a great job directing the film. Raimi is famous for his Evil Dead and Spider-Man franchise, so I originally questioned his ability to direct a fantasy, children’s film. It turns out he is great and doing so as well. Dramatic choices, comedy relief and scary moment, you can see director’s signatures during every single moments. I especially like the scary moments in the film- that’s when you especially can see Sam Raimi swims freely in his own pond. Some of the humor Raimi puts in the film has me laughing and asking for more. If anything, Raimi’s quirkiness in film can be compare to how Tim Burton was back in the days- let’s admit, Burton is not as good as he used to be. Anyway, Raimi is a very quirky director that mixes different tons of the movie very well.
The actors are wonderful as well. While all the actors gave their best performances, it was Kunis and Weisz’s performances that were the most remarkable. Kunis’ Theodora character is just brilliant. Theodora’s innocence at the beginning of the film to when she becomes the heart broken evil witch is all perfectly portrayed. I can really feel her as an inncoene little girl who’s so heartbroken with love and decides to turn evil and punishes the man she used to love. Oh, and the scene where Theodora’s turning into the evil witch? Who else saw the Green Goblin in that scene just like me? Weisz’s Evanora is top notch. Since her first appearance in the film, I was quickly drawn into her beautiful performance and forgot where I was for a moment.
Finely the flying monkey and the little China Doll are fun CGI characters. While Finely might be a missed from time to time, the little China Doll is my favorite character in the entire film. Since her first appearance I already know this character is going to be an awesome one. The character is witty and adorable, she’s perfect for Raimi’s imagine of the Land of Oz. The young actress Joey King is also a perfect fit for the character. I especially enjoy the scene where she cries and cries to beg Oz to take her one the adventure. And once Oz agree to do so, she stops crying like nothing ever happened before. That gives a chuckle even now as I’m typing this.
One problem I have with this film is that I’m not too sure who’s the target audiences for the film. While it’s obvious that it’s meant for little kids- there’s moments that I don’t think the film is appropriate for children. There are many scenes that’re maybe too frighten for kids, and they’re also scenes that I don’t think kids would understand the deeper meanings behind it. But other than that, the movie is a good one that teaches the typical moral stories that films such as this usually do. The story leaves out many open endings, and Disney already announced planning for squeal that’s most likely Dorthy’s story. I can’t wait to see that Dorthy story that’s based on this film. That would be an interesting and new take on an old story.
Favorite part the film: When my girlfriend and I saw Bruce Campbell’s name in the opening credits, we’ve been looking for him through the entire film. Who he turns out to be in the film is just too funny. Good job on a classic Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell combination.