Maleficent is not good.
I won’t sugar coat it. I really did not enjoy this film. I actually dozed off for a few minutes during it, and I saw it on a large screen in the middle of the day.
Maleficent is a re-telling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, told from the side of Maleficent. Being that this was a Disney film, the character of Maleficent isn’t really all that bad. Any time she does stray, she’s soon after redeemed thus killing any worthy character development. It’s a shame because Maleficent is played by Angelina Jolie who melts into the role and delivers an fantastic performance. If only the rest of the film wasn’t so riddled with problems.
Outside of Angelina Jolie, none of the acting is anything to write home about. Aurora, played by the lesser Fanning sister, is really generic, barely holding an English accent together for her limited screen time. Her guardians, three fairies, face similar issues in that all three are the same – generic and bumbling. The effects used on these actors (as well as the effects overall) are pretty subpar, especially given the budget and in comparison to other films out right now, such as Edge of Tomorrow.
The greatest weakness character wise unfortunately comes from Sharlto Copley, who plays Aurora’s father, the King, and Maleficent’s former “true love”. As a huge fan of Copley’s from his previous roles in District 9, The A-Team, and even his performance in Elysium, it was a real bummer to see him stuck in a role with a poor character arc, and even worse dialogue. Outside of a few narrator lines of exposition, his character never really justifies his actions. It’s really a shame that his and Jolie’s characters couldn’t have been more fleshed out, as they would’ve been a great juxtaposition, and helped carry the film a bit.
Following the terrible Alice in Wonderland, the mediocre Oz: Great and Powerful, we’ve now got another misfire for Disney. In front of this film was a teaser for Cinderella, coming in the spring, but after this my hopes aren’t high.