Starring: James Franco (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn), Mila Kunis (Ted), Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy), Zack Braff (TV’s ‘Scrubs’), Joey King (Crazy, Stupid, Love), Tony Cox (Disaster Movie)
The movie is a prequel to the Wizard of Oz where the wizard came to be in Oz.
The movie opens up to a magician by the name of Oscar aka Oz (Franco) who is getting ready for his show. His assistant (Braff) comes in and helps him get ready for the show. Everything goes great, until a little girl (King) asks Oz to make her walk again. The crowd turns on him and he is booed off the stage.
After the show, a woman named Annie (Williams) comes to visit him and tells him that she is engaged to another man. He says this is for the best because he wants to be not just a ‘good’ man, but a great one.
One of the carnies comes after Oz and he goes on the run into a hot air balloon, where he gets sucked up into a tornado. He prays that if he survives that he promises to make a difference. When his hot air balloon lands into a mysterious place, he is greeted by a witch named Theodora (Kunis) who tells him of a prophecy that she believes he’s a part of. She believes that he was sent there to take out the wicked witch.
Theodora brings Oz home to the Emerald city to meet her sister, Evanora (Weisz). Evanora shows him all over the kingdom and tells him it’s all his once he kills the wicked witch.
Oz follows the yellow brick road with his new assistant, Finley (voiced by Braff), to where the wicked witch lives. Along the way, he encounters a porcelain girl (voiced by King) and he helps her.
When he reaches the end, he meets up with the wicked witch, but he discovers that she’s Glinda (Williams) the good witch and that Evanora is the bad witch. Glinda takes Oz to where the good people are residing and asks for his help to reclaim the throne.
Oz must decide to whether or not grasp the opportunity to be that great man that he’s always wanted.
This movie obviously already has a high fan base right from the get go. There are very few people who have not seen this movie and that don’t like it. But with that fan base, comes a high pressure to be able to live up to high expectations. And the question is: Did they?
Sam Raimi (directed the Spider-man trilogy with Tobey Maguire) took the helm and tried to expand on the amazing world that was created in the first movie. There were a lot of similar things and it was fun watching them crop up randomly, it felt very nostalgic watching.
With the new stuff, they altered the flying monkey slightly so that they are scarier looking. The graphics were very impressive and the makeup and wardrobe was as well. It really felt like it could go along with the Wizard of Oz. It didn’t stray or change too much, which is something that I like.
The chosen actors for the movie were pretty good. There were times that I didn't like them (for example Weisz's accent would be there one scene and not the next) and there were times that Kunis just reminded of Meg from "Family Guy" (which is not really her fault because she was acting like Meg did in one of the episodes, but it did take me out of the movie for a little bit).
I did really like Williams as Glinda because she naturally has a higher-pitched voice which is perfect for what the role called for. It was nice to Franco return to the big screen and he did a pretty good job at executing the selfish and boastful magician with a good heart.
My favorite was definately the special effects in the movie, and there were a lot of them. I saw this movie in 3D, which I was hesitant about. The last live-action film I saw in 3D was Alice in Wonderland and I just didn't think it was worth the extra $3. This one, however, is so worth the extra money. It's got a lot more special effects that pop out at you and it really draws you into the film. It's like a character all in it's own.
Overall, I was very pleased with the film. I think that it was done in a way that compliments the first movie without over powering it, which is something that I was afraid it might do. It sets up the original movie in a nice way so that you could watch the next one and have it flow. It is a great movie to see for all ages and if possible, I would encourage spending that extra money for the 3D show, you won't regret it.