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'Oz': neither 'great' nor 'powerful'

Prequel to 1939 classic provides silly plot, sexy actors for mediocre product

Have you ever wondered how that goon of a man became the great and powerful “Wizard” of Oz behind the green curtain? If you answered affirmatively, or if you simply are looking to spend two hours of you life immersed in a silly fantasy world filled with sharp-toothed river fairies and talking porcelain dolls, then Disney’s most recent production_, Oz the Great and Powerful_, is surely for you.

Of course, you might also be interested for the film’s unbelievably attractive leading cast, which may or may not be why I saw it. James Franco plays the selfish, slightly arrogant, but incredibly charming magician from Kansas named Oscar Diggs, known by his spectators as Oz. After a performance at a circus where he denies a young girl’s wish to make her walk again and is then accused of being a fake, Oscar escapes via a hot air balloon, only to be — yep, you guessed it! — gobbled up by a wild tornado.

You know the drill. Just like the beloved Dorothy, Oscar suddenly finds himself in the magical Land of Oz. He first meets Theodora, a witch who has not yet chosen whether to be good or bad. But it doesn’t really matter what her role is, given the fact that Theadora is played by Mila Kunis, whose attractiveness at least somewhat makes up for her poorly fleshed out character. She redeems herself in a scene where she dramatically rips off her own clothes out of angst.

Then enter Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams as Evanora the Bad and Glenda the Good, respectively, who further bolster the hot lineup. Weisz, in her role as the Wicked Witch of the East, proves herself the only semi-bearable character in this movie in terms of acting.

Getting back to the plot — the cast seems to have distracted me — everyone in Oz believes that Oscar is the great wizard their world has been waiting for to free the people from the Wicked Witch. Playing along, Oscar finds himself on a mission to kill the Witch — or at least break her magic wand. Along his journey, the wizard meets a motley crew of bizarre friends who travel the yellow brick road with him. Sound familiar?

If you’re looking for a creative story or quality acting, Oz the Great and Powerful is not for you. But if all you’re really in the mood to do is look at cutie James Franco and his sexy leading ladies, then you’d best make your way to the nearest theatre, but perhaps grab some earplugs on the way.