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This was considerably more entertaining than it had any right to be! Of course you cannot go into a screening with lower expectations than those I brought to see this film (correction: If I go to see the next Transformers movie, those expectations will be rock bottom), but still. Yes, it’s too long, and yes, some of the (especially female) cast looks off. But James Franco is the accurately misplaced crook and charlatan that he needs to be, there’s some nice flying-monkey humour (not sophisticated, but funny), some standard flying ghouls, and an elaborate scheme to bring the wicked witch down.

While the effort to create links to the 1939 classic were not too subtle, either, I found myself enjoying the little details they created to make the fans of the old film happy, while never forgetting that probably a vast majority of the audience who went to the cinema to see James Franco has never seen that original one. Franco for the teenagers, the scarecrow for us old people. Jolly good entertainment all in all, with nice fireworks and some morale about sticking to your promise etc. What else do you expect? Promised and delivered by Sam Raimi, who seems to feel quite comfortable in family entertainment these days.

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