Growing up on Disney movies, I wasn't terribly surprised by the reaction--but my curiosity was piqued. It could be entertaining in an awful "oh man, that just happened" guilty pleasure kind of way. Right? Plus, as a Sam Raimi fan, I was interested to see what sort of grotesque madness he would create in the confines of the Disney Compound.
A red flag was raised as we were the only people in the theater on a Saturday night.
It was worse than I imagined.
A sideshow professor con man, Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is spit out into OZ and lauded as a savior by it's citizens. Oscar uses his slimy charm to bullshit and womanize his way to the throne as a "Wizard" while the sister-witches of various directions struggle for political power.
Our protagonist is met with great adversity-- like which one of the sisters to bang.
It takes all of about 10 seconds of Oscar being in Oz before Oscar is IN Oz: schmoozing the pants off of the doe-eyed Theodora almost instantly before insulting the natives.
Raimi could have saved money by trading out the actresses for socks with googly eyes.
All three witches, Theodora, Evanora and Glinda are presented as floppy one dimensional archetypes for Greed, Anger and Naivete.
Evanora (Rachel Weisz) appears to be the most powerful and therefore the most evil (we know because she has a pointy manicure...) She is a cruel, power hungry, two-faced-mean-girl. For all we know her evil is fueled by Satan as the story gives her no MO. She is later revealed to be as physically hideous as she is in spirit. (aka: an old woman with psoriasis.) Shocking.
She is banished from Oz.
Theodora (Mila Kunis) is a rage-a-holic child. After brief and flippant hanky-panky romp with Oscar, she is burned so badly by the rejection that she transforms into the Wicked Witch of The West. Though the audience is repeatedly reminded of how "hideous a creature she has become" we certainly see plenty of Theodora's perfectly pushed up lime-green jugs for the remainder of the film.
She and her perfect tits are also banished from Oz.
Glinda (Michelle Williams) is the Glue Sniffing Sunday-School Teacher of the South whom fawns over Oscar, assuring him that even assholes have a destiny. As the cooing incarnation of whiteness and goodness and blondness, she repeatedly saves the day with her bubble magic, risks her life, endures physical pain and public humiliation to secure Oscars rightful place as the Wizard of Oz.
Glinda needs Oscar like she needs a bag of spit.
She makes the Little Mermaid look like Gloria Steinem.
(We're not even going to get into bondage imagery and eroticised violence here...)
And after an underwhelming slappy "girl fight" Oz is at peace with a Wiz on the throne.
The agonizing story wraps up neatly and predictably with the Wizard granting gifts to the underdogs.
These "gifts" include:
Begrudgingly offering to take care of a refugee child. (Who is passed off to Glinda.)
Some kind of wine opener for the gentleman who masterminded their victory.
Bromance to the groveling Monkey-Bell Hop Slave he mistreated throughout the story.
A racially insensitive/creepy minstrel mask for the dwarf he insulted.
And for Glinda? The reward for her risking life and limb and the lively hood of her kingdom to pull off the heist and bring Oscar to power?
Glinda gets the slow dick.
The Moral of The Story:
Trick everyone around you into doing the work by manipulating them emotionally.
Girls will do anything if you kiss them.
Douche baggery is the key to greatness.
Nice work Disney.
Despite it's glaringly sexist nature, awkwardly stilted script and high-school-forensics-competition acting by the entire cast--
the cooky animation of the opening credits is worth a look.
Have you seen Oz The Great and Powerful yet? What were your thoughts? Do you plan to see the film?