Sam Raimi directs James Franco well. Long lost are the hints of Franco’s Spring Break or his trips on the Pinapple Express. No, this is Franco the actor, Franco the deserving. He proves a multifaceted Disney-worthy come-clean heroic Wizard. I had little hope for him, or for this film, but both were a delight.
It’s well-acted and beautifully manufactured. It’s a Disney ride in itself, splash drops and all. It’s magical and illuminating, but too scary for smaller viewers. Witches prove truly wicked or purely good, while munchkins dance and fight as they should. Each character proves endearing, especially the girl from Chinatown and the primate sidekick. The story delights and comes full circle along with each of its characters, adding new insight into the origins of the famous 1939 favorite The Wizard of Oz.
I look forward to seeing it again.