Rotten Tomatoes: 60% fresh
Disney had been known for two things, fairy tales and a good ending no matter what.
It’s no surprise Disney would touch on Oz, after all what’s better to attract the audience other than the nostalgia of our childhood.
Unfortunately when Hollywood attempts that, they often fail.
This movie shares several similarity with the 1939 classic Wizard of Oz, especially from the way they started the movie in sepia/black and white, then transit to color when Oz entered the world of Oz.
However it failed it’s attempt to be a valid prequel, instead it felt more like a stand-alone new franchise.(since they’re already making a sequel)
No doubt this movie is a visual extravaganza, burst of colors, beautiful costumes, amazing effects, I almost regretted not watching this in 3D.
They presented the world of Oz well enough to live up to it’s name, the costumes were good, the citizens of Oz were adorable pleasant people.
If I were to describe the movie in just one word, I know just the perfect word: cheesy.
You know there’s got to be something wrong with this movie when the actors and actresses themselves looked awkward on camera, I’m not even talking about Kristen Stewart sort of awkward, I’m talking about actually being awkward about what they’re told to do.
Rachel Weisz, an Oscar, Golden Globe award winner, looked awkward on camera. Perhaps she’s just not that great of an action star, but whenever the two wicked witches were supposed to summon their powers from their hands, it doesn’t feel very natural, especially so for Evanora since her powers are green colored electricity.
James Franco also felt painfully awkward on screen, it’s worst because he was supposed to be awkward, but he made it extra awkward with how awkward his awkwardness is.(it makes sense, trust me)
Every character felt one-dimensional, especially Mila Kunis’ Theodora.
She’s naive, she’s kind, she fell in love, she’s heart broken, she became wicked, and swore revenge…
The heart break and the process of her becoming wicked really didn’t felt like such a big deal.
Then right after she turns into the Wicked Witch of the West, she started screaming and screeching, becoming a completely different person, with little to no connections to her original self.
That was very hard for me to bear through because I love Mila Kunis, and I love Wicked Witch of the West because of the musical Wicked, instead this movie just ruined both of them for me.
They also gave a very weak reason to why the wicked witches were wicked. In fact they only showed Theodora becoming wicked, they never explained why Evanora was wicked, instead they simply told us, ‘yes she is wicked, she’s evil, she deserved all this’.
I was expecting a prequel of Oz would explain more than just how Oz gets to the land of Oz, at least touch a bit on Evanora’s history, and not make Rachel Weisz look like a one-dimensional villain.
Oz and Glinda the Good got together at the end, proving Theodora that everything her sister said became true.
The love between Oz and Glinda felt forced, I swear even Snow White falling in love with the prince made more sense than this.
It’s a shame that James Franco wasn’t that much of the cowardly Oz I was hoping for, the entire time he was this playboy caught up in a giant cat fight between the three witches.
I must also mention how much I didn’t like the wizard, right after finding out Glinda was the ‘wicked witch’, he immediately sides with Glinda without a single doubt, just because she looked like Annie she must have been the good witch?
Despite being the main cause Theodora became wicked, Oz barely felt sorry for it, if this was the original with Dorothy as the main character, I forgive that, but Oz is the main character, and main characters are supposed to do more than that to earn our respect.
It could also have served as a good lesson for kids, ‘when you do something wrong, apologize, and never lie to others when you know it’ll hurt them’.
The two side kicks are cute, but I believe they could have put a little more effort in making the flying monkey cuter.
I love monkeys, I could stare at them all day long, because of how beautifully innocent their eyes look, but this movie did not manage to capture that.(on this part Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters did better)
The china doll was adorable, but I would give more credit to the visual effects team who made her so realistic, from the way light reflects on her body, to the lines that shows every pieces of her.
That is pure art.
Even though the visual effects was beautiful, this movie didn’t felt as magical as the original.
This is another very common thing about prequel/sequel/remakes of a classical movies, no matter how much the visual effects had improved, the modern version just doesn’t feel as magical as the original.
Another example is Tim Burton’s modern Alice in Wonderland.
The very well done part of the movie has to the connection between Kansas and Oz, in which the flying monkey is a counterpart to Oz’s partner, the china doll being the little girl who wished Oz could let her walk, and of course Annie and Glinda.
That was really well done, and I would applaud the script writers for that, unfortunately the rest of the story was falling in pieces, the writing hardly made me feel enthusiastic or overwhelmed with any feelings.
To be very honest, this movie was a huge disappointment to those who grew up with the original.
I understand that there was a lot of hurdles Disney faced with touching on a classic that currently belongs to Warner Brothers, thus the lack of ruby slippers, actual terrifying flying monkeys, or even the slightest hint that Dorothy might appear in the future sequels of this new franchise.
I don’t have any idea what the sequel is gonna be about, perhaps the witches? Or even another prequel to what happened before Oz appeared?
We’ll only find out when the next Disney Oz movie comes out, meanwhile, perhaps we could pick up the original books by L. Frank Baum and immerse ourselves in the actual magical world of Oz.
Worth it for the effects, the storyline needs a lot more work, if you’re a loyal fan of the original, this won’t be what you’re expecting.
Also, was it just me, or did the witches all had to have their boobs and cleavage shown? Not like I’m complaining but that was definitely done on purpose right?
One more thing, my boyfriend was shaking when this movie kept referring Thomas Edison as the man who invented many things… but truth is, people who worked for him invented those things, not him.
Now I’ll post up the ticket stub if I watched a movie in the cinema~