There was plenty to stoke the hype surrounding Oz: The Great and Powerful, the prequel to the beloved Wizard of Oz: James Franco starring as Oscar Diggs, a magician in a black-and-white world who gets swooped to the mysterious, color-filled country where he becomes the wonderful wizard, with Sam Raimi (the Spider-Man mastermind) directing. “I was psyched for this,” says Peter Travers, “and what did I get? I get big, fat, great and powerful disappointment.” A tactless, humorless 3D film so bad it defies language, the movie reminds Travers of Tim Burton’s stale adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Not even exciting performances from the trio of witches played by Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis can save it.
“This movie is disrespectful to the Wizard of Oz, to me,” says Travers. “I loved it because it touched my heart – this movie doesn’t touch anything. It’s just out there to touch your pocketbook and your wallet and every other piece of money you have to buy all the little toys and gadgets they’re gonna sell you. This is sad, sad, sad.” Pay no attention to the scum bucket behind the curtain!