Review: Maleficent

Title: Maleficent
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Robert Stromberg
Starring: Angeline Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley 
Runtime: 1 hr 37 mins

What It Is: The true story of Disney’s “Mistress of All Evil” we get the inside look into what made her curse a infant Princess Aurora and doom her to an eternal slumber until she is touched by true loves first kiss. That’s the part of the story we know. We get to see where Maleficent the fairy queen of the moor apparently, and overall Disney bad girl got her start. Director by former Oscar-winning visual effects director Robert Stromberg, and featuring a great ensemble cast including District 9‘s Sharlto Copley as King Stefan, Control‘s Sam Riley, and the “other” Fanning sister Elle as Princess Aurora.

 
What We Think: The description of the plot is so simple I had to riddle the above paragraph with crap just to hit a word count. It’s plot is both simple, and yet within the confines of the film seems wholly nonsensical. What is Maleficent is she good or bad? It’s suppose to change perceptions of her, but why? Our opinions of her were concrete and have been embedded in our mind since 1959. None of the performances outside of Jolie’s really do anything Copley is a blithering idiot, and Elle Fanning is as 2D an Aurora as you can possibly dream up in your head. This isn’t a flaw in any of the actors and instead comes from a freshman director trying to navigate subpar material.
 
Our Grade: C+, Stromberg shows his green with this and perhaps the scope of it was far too much too soon. His history as a visual effects supervisor is also apparent and it is a beautiful LOOKING film.  It’s all style and little substance. I was hoping for a bit more meat on the bone with this and sadly it didn’t feature this. Also as an aside I don’t recommend you take kids if they’re TOO young, as there is some scary visuals throughout. Lastly Diaval was my for me the best thing in the film, even if he was a poorly built character.   
 
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