Maleficent is a fantasy family film directed by Robert Stormberg. The plot serves as a retelling of the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty, this time for the evil witch’s point of view. This time around we see that said witch Maleficent (Angelina Jolie), was actually the victim of human aggression on the part of the evil King Stefan (Sharlto Copley).
This film is to me the perfect example of the phrase style over substance. We get a lot of cool looking fantasy creatures, but do they do anything meaningful? Do you care about them? No to both. Even Maleficent herself is hard to warm to, this whole film feels very clean, like it was made by a group of marketing personnel, there is no heart or soul and if you watch it you will see what I mean.
Copley is one of my favourite actors and given the right director and the right script he can work wonder, but he is wasted here. We are supposed to believe that a poor orphan boy grew up to become king of a small country, I don’t think so. Not only that, but the film builds up the relationship between him and Jolie’s character, only to be like no he was evil the whole time. You’re left feeling like you have had your time wasted.
Jolie is not much better served. They try to make her character warm and sympathetic; they fail at both. They try and create a motherly bond between her, and Sleeping Beauty here called Aurora (Elle Fanning), which one again comes off as disingenuous and hard to believe. Which might say something about Jolie’s acting ability these days.
The only character who seems to be having fun and possess any kind of whimsey is Fanning’s Aurora, she is definitely the saving grace of the film.
Overall, this film feels too marketed tested and corporate, it has no soul.
The world building
They waste a talented cast.
The CGI creatures do nothing.
It feels boring and forced.
Reviewed by Luke