Film review: A wonderful trip back to Oz at Grantham Reel cinema

James Franco in Oz: The Great and Powerful.
James Franco in Oz: The Great and Powerful.
Have your say

Oz:The Great and Powerful (PG)

It can be a risky business making a sequel, or in this case prequel, to a classic film especially when we are talking about The Wizard of Oz.

The 1939 Judy Garland movie is so revered that to make a prequel somehow taints it.

But Oz: The Great and Powerful is a big, endearing and entertaining film, and excellent family viewing for the Easter holidays.

James Franco plays the selfish small-time magician who is whisked away in a balloon by a tornado to another world where the people believe him to be the wizard who will save them from the wicked witch.

The film starts in monochrome before turning into dazzling widescreen colour when Franco is dumped in the land of Oz, mimicking the 1939 film which also switched from black and white to Technicolor.

It works and it’s a nice touch. Sam Raimi’s film resembles the Judy Garland film in so many ways that it’s just possible fans of the original Oz will not resent it and should enjoy it. In a way Raimi and Franco are tipping their hats to The Wizard of Oz and doing it in some style.

Oz: The Great and Powerful continues at The Reel, St Catherine’s Road, every afternoon until Thursday.