Sunday, June 1, 2014

Maleficent- review

Much like The True Story of The Three Little Pigs, Maleficent tells the story of Sleeping Beauty from the point of view of the villain.  The acting in Maleficent is genuine but there are a lot of aspects to this film that make this a fairly unlikable movie. The effects are decent but the story is mediocre. Maleficent banks a lot on Angelina Jolie’s talent though it is debatable if that is enough to carry the weight of the movie.

Maleficent begins with a young fairy with the unfortunate name of Maleficent. As she grows into a young women she falls in love with a young man named Stefan. After learning that the king will succeed his crown to the person responsible for defeating Maleficent, Stefan cuts off her wings. This creates a longstanding hatred of Stefan, which eventually leads to the events of Sleeping Beauty, with some major changes.

One big question that I had from the beginning of this story: Who was the jerk that named the good fairy Maleficent? It means harmful or evil in intent or effect. That is like naming your newborn baby Evil Satan Von Hitlerton. I don’t usually have problems with stories like these altering things to make things different and original. The problem in this case is that the creators made odd choices. For example, the three fairies that raise Aurora are painfully stupid. So much so that they nearly kill Aurora a couple of times until the villain, Maleficent, saves her.

Angelina Jolie does a great job. She just can’t be expected to carry the whole film alone. I found myself not caring; not even about Sharlto Copley or Elle Fanning who were at least trying. I think the big reason that I found myself not caring is that the protagonist is almost invincible. Even without her wings she has a wealth of magic at her disposal; she is strong; she heals rapidly and even can change her raven friend into any conceivable creature. The CGI is well developed for the most part except for when it came to the three fairies, which looked crude and cartoonish. 

I can’t say I enjoyed this movie. Still, it is not badly made.  They even seem to use a similar idea as the ending from Frozen. There are interesting scenes that people will enjoy. If you are a big fantasy fan or you have little kids you might enjoy it. Personally though, it was not to my taste and I can’t recommend it to folks beyond seeing it at a matinee if you a curious. It just did not seem like a movie that seemed worth waking up for.

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