Maleficent: Review

Image from: http://www.disneydreaming.com
Maleficent is the worst film I’ve had the misfortune of sitting through this year. A confused mess of a picture, I have no idea what the film makers were thinking when they put this into production and I don’t think they did either.
Based on Sleeping Beauty, one of Disney’s best loved classics, the main problem Maleficent has is justifying its existence. Despite having an interesting final act which plays with the idea of “true love’s first kiss” rather well, the film doesn’t offer anything particularly new or exciting to the original films story.
The backstory which basically puts Maleficent’s evil down to the betrayal of a man (hell hath no fury…) feels tired and all so predictable and what follows are pointless scenes which feel straight out of a deleted scenes feature on a DVD.
The characterisation of Maleficent herself is completely off too. Neither really evil or good (something the film acknowledges itself), her character is reduced to nothing more than a bit of a bitch, the extent of her evil as playing pranks on her fellow fairies (who to be fair are really annoying).
To top it all off, there’s some really bad acting here that made me cringe often. Angelina Jolie shines when she’s playing Maleficent in full-on Sleeping Beauty mode but unfortunately those moments are few and far between.
I’m a big fan of Sharlto Copley, so to see him reduced to such a poor performance in this hurt a bit. He shines as his character descends into madness but it’s a case of too little, too late.
On the plus side, the make-up is excellent and there is some lovely imagery dotted throughout, despite the world itself feeling more like Lord of The Rings than Disney. Take away the lavish budget and special effects however and all your left with is amateur theatrics.
Maleficent is a laughable, cringe-worthy re-imagining that bored me completely. With terrible pantomime acting and even worse story telling, the only purpose it serves is to remind people of how good Sleeping Beauty is.

 

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