Friday, March 29, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)


This Oz definitely doesn't resemble the one I used to watch back then, the one featuring the Tin Man and a talking lion. When I did some digging I found out the previous version was filmed in 1939. Holy shit! Is like a century old. Anyway, the only similarity I remember was the tornado that swept the main character away into a magical place. Later on, I discover that Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) is the prequel to the Wizard of Oz (1939) .

I really like the black and white setting during the beginning of this movie. Five minutes into it I was wondering how long more it takes before we were switch back to the techno-color. Oz (James Franco), is a magician and a con artist at the circus place. He cheats and lies to make a living and he is mean to his assistant, Frank (Zach Braff). He even string the women in the circus along with his so-called late grandmother's music box. Apart from that, we also met his lover, Annie (Michelle Williams) who came to tell him that she is getting married to another man. She wish he could propose instead, but Oz know his destiny is to achieve greater things and not tie down by marriage.

The adventure begins when he was chase down by a nasty brother to a the girl, whom he had swindle at the circus. He escape the brother's wrath by climbing into an air balloon and fled. He did not anticipate that there will be a tornado nearby and he ended up getting sucked into it and transported into the magical land called Oz.

First he met Theodora ( Mila Kunis ) by the riverbank and she told him about the prophecy. A wizard who was named after their land, Oz will save their people from the wicked witch. The wizard will also be their new king. Oz was flabbergasted by the magical land and even more by Theodora prophecy, because he might be a magician, but he is no wizard. Anyhow, when he met Theodora's sister, Evanora ( Rachel Weisz ) at the Emerald City and found out about the overwhelming treasure of gold in the palace, he decided to play along and construct a plan to get the fortune.

Before he get the throne, Evanora told him the condition. He needs to help them kill the wicked witch by breaking her wand. Therefore, together with Finley ( voice by Zach Braff ), the flying monkey, whom he saved from a lion, they set upon locating the wicked witch. On the journey, they came across China Girl, whose town got destroyed along with her families. After Oz helped her fix her broken legs, she insist on following him.

The trio finally reached the land of the wicked witch and they encounter some creepy moments. When  they came across a hooded figure with a wand, Oz started to plan on how to steal the wand with Finley to provide a distraction.

Although their plan was weak with Finley moo-ing on the other end, Oz manage to steal the wand. When he was on the brink of breaking it, the hooded figure reveal herself as Annie, only she is not actually Annie, but Glinda (Michelle Williams) the supposing wicked witch. Oz was surprise to find their similarity and learned from Glinda that Evanora is the real wicked witch and they had been attacking Glinda's people and threatening their safety since her father passed away.

Theodora was a little in love with Oz after he gave her 'the grandmother's music box' and when she found out Evanora also got the same music box, the love turns into hate. The final straw was when she found out about Oz with Glinda through the crystal ball. The wicked Evanora convinced her to eat the poison apple to put her naive good nature behind her and that's when all hell break lose. Theodora turned into a classic villainous witch together with the green face, crooked nose and broomstick.

In order to escape the attack from Evanora, Glinda brought Oz and his gang back to her domain transported by the giant bubbles. Here we met Glinda's people, the Thinker, Quadlings and Munchkin, who offer themselves to be part of Oz's army to defeat the wicked witch. Unfortunately, they are just a group of farmers, tailors, philosophers and dwarfs. Glinda also knew about the prophecy that Oz will be able to save her people, but Oz decided to come clean to Glinda and confess that he is not a wizard at all. Anyhow, Glinda believes in the prophecy that Oz is the one who will save them all. After battling some inner dilemma, Oz decided to help Glinda to plot an attack against the wicked witch together with the help from her people.


Oz smuggle himself into the Emerald City together with Finley while the rest of the people together with Glinda to launch the attack from outside the city. It appears that Oz ditched Finley to go after the treasure in the castle. Meanwhile, Glinda and his people confronted Evanora's minion. Glinda ended up taken hostage by Theodora and Evanora. While Oz is loading up the gold into the hot air balloon, Glinda was being attack by Evanora. She look upon the hot air balloon and feels dejected. The wicked witch send a blast of flame onto the hot air balloon and it engulf in a flame. Believing Oz was dead, the wicked witch and the people were shocked to see Oz's projection among the flames. We found out that Oz had the Thinker construct a projector in order to scare the witches. Theodora believing in the projection of the powerful Wizard of Oz, decided to flew the Emerald City.

Glinda with the help from China Girl escape from being chain to the ground, while Evanora fled into the castle. Glinda and Evanora had a final battle with Evanora losing her emerald necklace and she turned into an old and ugly witch. She was later being drag off by her minion and fled away from the Emerald City.

The ending show, Oz needs to continue to fake his death and projecting his image in order to keep Evanora and Theodora from returning into the Emerald City. The final scene showed Oz giving Finley, his hat, Knuck, a smiley face, China Girl, a family and Glinda, a kiss behind the curtain. 


Oz was an interesting character with a dilemma, who often struggling with his conscience. He know he is selfish and a liar, but he wants to help the people of Oz as well. Finley, the flying monkey provide tons of comic relief, while Glinda the perfect princess who believes in the good of every person. Evanora and Theodora are the cardboard villains and totally over the top. Is a great family movie and I had a fun time laughing. Every time Oz took out 'the music box', I couldn't help but burst out. Every woman he came across will be fortunate to get one, except Annie/Glinda.

Wizard of Oz (1939)
According to some sources, there is continuity between this movie and the 1939 sequel. But I had a hard time finding the link since I watch that movie ages ago. Apparently, Annie who we met in the beginning was Dorothy Gale's mum. Dorothy is the main character in the 1939 movie who got transported to the Land of Oz. In the finale of 1939, Dorothy found out that Oz, is not really a wizard, as what we had learn in this movie.

Plot 3/5
E value 5/5 
Rating 4/5