March 11, 2013
Good, not great
"Oz" Diggs is a scoundrel of a man haunted by the lack of "greatness" in his life. "I don't want to be a good man, I want to be a great one," he declares. Then a tornado whisks him to the magical land of Oz, where through a series of (mis)adventures, he becomes the great Wizard of Oz, setting the stage for the story we all know and love, featuring a young farmgirl named Dorothy.
Ironically, this movie seems to mirror Oz's own inner struggle: it aspires to be a great movie, but ends up being merely good. Thankfully, it's good enough. It's a charming love letter to the 1939 classic, even though copyright issues meant a few iconic elements (e.g., the Ruby Slippers) are missing in action. James Franco makes a likable wizard, and Mila Kunis, while no Margaret Hamilton, gets better once she becomes "green with envy." Best of all, though, is the adorable and spunky CGI China Girl, voiced by Joey King. It's a visually beautiful film, although lessened by a rather slight and predictable story.
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