By Michael Covington
Oz The Great and Powerful is the latest idyllic fantasy brought to us by Disney. Oz brings a Burtonesqe reimagining of the famous world crafted by L. Frank Baum. Directed by film wunderkind Sam Remi, Oz ends up being being comprehensible and easier to follow than other movies Disney has created.
While there is no immediate stand out acting in Oz, there’s no bad eggs either. James Franco, in the titular role of Oz, performs the role with a certain degree of swagger that befits the con-artist character’s persona.
The parts of the three witches Theadora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams) are all equally entertaining; of the three witches, my favorite would have to be Kunis who brings an energy to the screen that the movie sorely needed.
What really saves Oz from being a mediocre fantasy movie are the special effects. The world of Oz is lovingly rendered. While most of it is CG, it’s not the kind that’s offensive to the eyes and mostly holds up under scrutiny.
The standout in the special effects department is the animation on the character of The Little China Girl, who at its worst looks good, and at its best looks amazing, I haven’t seen a pure GC character this good since Gollum from the Lord of the Rings.
Oz can be a fun movie for families and lovers of fantasy. At times the movie descends into predictable tropes and cliché formulas, but the fun writing and characters combined with the visual splendor are more than enough to entertain the average movie goer.