Franco? Kunis? Weisz?! Williams?!? Raimi? How did it all go so extremely wrong? The perpetually moving follow up to the magical 1939 film falls so flat that even though there are many call backs (and set ups) to the original, it is hard to draw any actual connection between the two. Thematically it fails, scenically it fails, structurally it fails, atmospherically it fails, characterization it fails, motivationally it fails, in fact, there is very little this film does right. The entire film is a cauldron of ideas that if any one of them were thought out and energy was devoted to them could have made a very interesting film. Yet with a film that structurally has two first acts, a very anti climactic ordeal with a pathetic second act climax and an elixir so stolen from the first film that it's painful to watch, originality is thrown out the window for a script that felt conjured up in a studio executive's office (the true wicked witches). Franco, actually is not charming (something I have always felt he had going for him). Kunis is delightful until her character is asked to make a major personality change with no real motivation. After this turn every single line is performed with the quality of a high school play. Weisz is alright, but again the characterization gives her nothing to work with. Williams is the only bright spot and tries really hard to give light to the very clunky lines given to her. Raimi's direction is some of the worst I've ever seen from the director (comparative to Spiderman 3). I think he's a director who the higher his budgets the less creative he allows himself to be. The CG is distractingly bad. I wasn't expecting a realistic looking world going into Oz, yet every shot looks so superimposed that you can nearly feel the treadmill under the actors feet. I really wanted to like this, not comparatively to the original, not as a serious effort but more as a children's film, but it's just so bad. I'm truly sorry for those wanting to recapture the magic, but revisit the original and save your money.
D rating or 1 1/2 stars out of 5