What “Oz the Great and Powerful” lacks in courage and brains, it fails to make up for in heart.
Disney’s big-budget adaptation coasts along familiar plot points and forgettable dialogue into a tidy ending.
“Oz” tries so hard to tell a life-affirming story that it forgets to tell an interesting one. The stakes never feel high.
James Franco would be more convincing as Oz, the sentimental conman, if the sentiment weren’t laid on thick and early.
The movie stumbles most of all for the distractingly miscast Mila Kunis, who doesn’t ham it up like the script requires.
Blockbusters should go for spectacle, but the camerawork and composition are often overwhelmed by the CGI-heavy world. The art direction is beautiful at times, but Oz can feel more like some generic Disney fantasy land than cohesively built world.
Director Sam Raimi’s usually exciting visual imagination seems stunted, reduced to token point of view and askew shot selections here and there. At least the 3-D was well done.
Despite its emotional posturing, “Oz” doesn’t earn its warmth. This is a Disney cash grab at its most watered down.
By Patrick Beane