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Heralding a return to the fantastic setting and formula of the infamous Oz books, Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful certainly evokes the feel of the old MGM movie and the Wicked stage production.
The film tells the story of character Oscar Diggs (James Franco) before he became known as the Wizard, making a meager living as a stage magician and con man in Kansas.
As the people in Dorothy’s life become transplanted as her companions in Oz, Oscar meets a cast of characters that become his traveling troupe in his quest to bring peace to the land of Oz and earn his seat on the throne: his best friend, a flying monkey (voiced by Zach Braff); his female companion, Theodora the Good (Mila Kunis); and a child he rescued from a decimated village (a little China girl voiced by Joey King).
Later he and his troupe meet Glinda the Good Witch (Michelle Williams), initially mistaking her for the Wicked Witch– that is, before Theodora is revealed as a wicked witch, along with her sister, Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and the two big baddies initiate the final battle.
However complex, the film is fun and the actors perform well in their roles. Though I didn’t see the film in 3D, I can definitely see how it works as a 3D movie. Regardless, Oz the Great and Powerful is a must-see.