'Maleficent' Review

'Maleficent' Poster‘Is it true? Are you Maleficent?’

A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal – an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces a battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom – and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

I know little to nothing about Maleficent or the real story of Sleeping Beauty. When I had heard that Disney wanted make a live-action movie on the Sleeping Beauty property, but instead it would be from the villain’s take – yeah, it definitely sounded interesting. Then once Angelina Jolie was brought on, it just got better. I’ll admit that I wasn’t excited or amped up to see it, I just wanted to watch it to know more about the world and see how it had turned out. And I’ve got to say, I am not at all impressed with the final product we were given.

Angelina Jolie in 'Maleficent'There were only two positives throughout the entire move for me. The first one is the most obvious, Angelina. She did a very good job. I don’t think she deserves the incredible praise people are giving her for this role because I think I’ve seen better from her, but it was definitely great. She embraced the role and quite honestly, may have been just perfect for it. Started out that happy and loving fairy then boom, she turns to that darker side that Jolie can do so damn well. The only parts of the movie I enjoyed were her with her wings, then her being on her darker side following the dismantle of her wings.

Next is the visual effects, just awesome. Colorful, vibrant, beautiful to look at, and a perfect fit for that world. The mystical creatures, the lavish land, the castle, and all the magical-ness going on really shined with it’s looks. Sometimes it may have gotten a little to much and even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped, it was definitely beautiful to look at.

Sharlto Copley in 'Maleficent' The first fifteen or twenty minutes of the movie were a good buy for me, I was into it and was buying what was on screen. As soon as the wings were gone, that only parts I could stand or enjoy just a little were the moments when Angelina’s Maleficent was being bad and all villainess. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t stand the three fairies, Sharlto Copley’s character was just a complete bust, and I really could have done without young Ms. Fanning’s cheesy, immature character she put on screen. The Fairy ‘Aunt’s’ were meant to add some good comedy in there, but it just didn’t work for me. I was bored to death with them the minute they turned human. Copley’s character was just to much. Sending his daughter away, obsessing over Maleficent attacking, yelling and screaming all ridiculously, I was once again bored and just shaking my head at the moments he was on screen. Elle Fanning has shown some real talent over the past few years, but she took a step back for me in this movie. Her character just seemed way to kiddish and immature. I know it’s a Disney movie, make her fit with what the other characters are like – please.

Another major disappointment for me was the tone of the movie, it was just all over the place. It was happy, then sad, then happy moments, then comedy, then sad, then happy again – it was a 97 minute roller-coaster that lost my interest right after the first act. I get that sometimes movies have to do that with how the movie is set up, but it felt all wrong to me. I didn’t like it, I wish it would have been better because it would have made a much more enjoyable film.

Elle Fanning in 'Maleficent' These last two are more of a nitpicks at the movie than anything else. First off, Maleficent did not seem like a ‘villain’ to me at all. More of an Anti-Hero who wanted to get back at the mad who destroyed her world. It honestly didn’t even feel like a revenge effort, but rather a story about Maleficent growing up into the fairy she should be. That might just be me, but it’s what I though. Next, those damn cheek bones! My lord those things kept getting bigger and bigger and more ridiculous each time Angelina was on screen. I don’t know if that’s how her animated version looked with the cheek bones, but I thought it was completely unnecessary to have them be that distinctive. It was all I ended up looking at because they were so detailed and just there, they started to annoy me later in the movie.

Angelina Jolie in 'Maleficent'Even with the solid and magical (no pun intended) performance from the star Angelina Jolie, the movie lacks a well thought out process. Instead of building off of a main role starring a someone sod Jolie’s caliber, it takes a turn and gives us dull supporting characters who left us bored for most of the movie. Although it had a fantastic lead and some beautiful visual effects, those couldn’t lift my spirits from the average and disappointment of a showing that Maleficent gave me.

Rating: 5/10

2 replies »

  1. Thanks for the very helpful review Jake. Your insights and writing are terrific! On your recommendation I probably won’t be seeing this particular movie.

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