Sh!t. Did I just walk into a frickin’ kids’ movie?!
|Angelina Jolie as Maleficent|
|Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora|
|Sharlto Copley as King Stefan|
|Sam Riley as Diaval|
|Generic handsome dude as Prince Phillip|
|and Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Leslie Manville as the RGB Fairies|
Surely, Sleeping Beauty has been done to death. I mean, yes, it is a classic fairy tale used to give hope to little girls everywhere that there is a Prince Phillip out there, representing true love for them all. But, Disney has run out of stuff to make movies of, so along comes Maleficent, a totally unnecessary reimagining of the tale with the evil fairy/witch character of Maleficent as the protagonist.
We begin with exposition from an unnamed old woman as we learn about the magical setting of the forest realm where the fairies live. Maleficent wasn’t always evil, starting out as a bright eyed kiddy fairy with immense magical powers and wings like a harpy. She lives with all the magical, weird and wonderful creatures of her realm far away from humanity.
We’re also introduced to a young Stefan, a bright eyed pauper kid from the far less magical human kingdom. After Stefan gets lost in the fairy realm, they form a tight friendship and fall in love as teenagers. However, Stefan withdraws into ambition and climbing the social ladder. I don’t know about you, but if my girlfriend was a magical fairy, I’m pretty sure I’d say f*ck it to society and run away with her to her magical kingdom, irrespective of whether becoming king was possible. After all, by my expert engineering analysis:
Magical Girlfriend > Being King
Remember this inequality formula kids, it’s really, really important. Anyway, the king of the humans, whose name escapes me (and the plot, no less) decides to be a jerk and invade the fairy realm. A big battle ensues and Maleficent easily beats King Jerk. On his deathbed, he swears bloody revenge, despite not being able to actually carry out said bloody revenge. Instead, he vows to his closest confidants that his successor will the the one who kills Maleficent and brings back proof.
Off goes Stefan to find Maleficent and cuts off her wings after getting her absolutely smashed on wine, so he can become King Stefan, of House Jerk, First of His Name. That’s pretty nasty, kids. Never, ever do this to anybody. If you have a problem with someone, sort it out like a man! Now, it’s Maleficent’s turn to swear bloody revenge. She can actually carry it out, cursing the newborn Princess Aurora to prick herself on a weaving machine before she turns sixteen and fall into a deep sleep that only true love’s kiss can wake her from. And then we proceed to watch as Angelina Jolie gets all motherly on Aurora and tries to remove the curse.
Ugh. Look, the only good thing about this movie is Jolie’s performance as Maleficent. Everything else was insipidly stupid or annoying. The RGB fairies were useless at being funny, useless at being protectors of Aurora, useless at practically everything. Every other character was a one dimensional fairy tale character or monster, especially the ridiculously handsome, yet dull and vacuous Prince Phillip, and the movie was the worse for it. It also doesn’t help that we know there is a happy ending and that Aurora wakes up anyway. There’s not much else that can happen in the story.
Watch Maleficent at your wallet’s peril. If you think that Angelina Jolie is an awesome actress (well, she is), then go watch something like The Changeling or Wanted, because they were actually good, well made movies. This is just a pointless reimagining of a fairytale that nobody asked for, apart from some Disney executives trying to keep people busy until Star Wars Episode VII: The Old Folks’ Home comes out. If your kids are actually clamouring for you to take them to see it, tell them that they have a choice between Transformers: Age of Extinction and Maleficent. If they pick this, you know they’ll turn out dumb.
Check out the trailer
Mediocre at best, with a side of annoying fairy voices.
Should I watch this?
A better choice would be to spend the time reading the story with your children. At least then they can learn to read and hopefully allow them to come up with better script ideas for movies in the future.