I`ve always been too old to appreciate the sweetness of 'The Wizard Of Oz',so I just watched this because there was nothing else on.And was pleasantly surprised.This is not only a film aimed at children,but also at imaginative older Sam Raimi types.The silliness and pantomime elements are restricted to a short musical scene and the cackling of the Wicked Witch,who seems out of place in this modern take on the story.The cast is well chosen,the scenery beautiful and the witty dialogue is occasionally a little too elaborate for many children to understand. I`ve never been impressed with James Franco until this film-Not only is he the lead but he`s playing a character whose moral compass is often trying to point in several directions at the same time.Mila Kunis is also very impressive,even though her character could be less silly-It`s my one real gripe-I suppose it has to pay homage to the original-but she nearly makes it work.The monkey and china girl are the best but they do get the best lines. The Wizard is a trickster and those expecting big fight scenes,or a film like the Judy Garland original are likely to be disappointed,but this film is about brains and not brawn,and an attempt to recreate the original would only appeal to the biggest fans.With all those preconceptions and expectations maybe this film was never going to be a runaway success,but this is Raimis best film since Evil Dead 2.And that was 30 years ago.
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