[Movie Review] Maleficent

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Maleficent pic
Angelina Jolie was darkly enchanting, unlike most of the rest of the film.

No one can deny that the ultimate Disney villain.. or shall we say villainess… is Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent. Not only can she turn into a fire-breathing dragon, but this bad witch makes the Evil Queen from Snow White look like an amateur when it comes to putting princesses to sleep. In Disney’s Maleficent, however, we get to hear the other side of the story, and while Angelina Jolie is positively magical, the rest of the film fails to support her.

First of all, there’s enough computer-generated imagery (CGI) blasting across the screen at every angle to fill your eyes with rainbow-colored sparkles. So much so, that the characters get swallowed up in the moving painting of graphical splendor. I mean, it’s like watching a video game cutscene sometimes. Great to look at, but overdone and unimaginative, if only because they’re flinging every fantasy cliche into a single pot rather than developing a more unique style.

Lost in the flash is a story about a young fairy betrayed by a greedy king, who grows up to become the jaded Maleficent we all love to fear. Jolie plays the dark sorceress with such gleeful wickedness and soulful ferocity, that you will literally freeze in your chair just mesmerized by her presence. When she curses the king’s daughter, Aurora (played by Elle Fanning), in a recreation of the classic Sleeping Beauty scene, the movie hits its high note. Unfortunately, that high note is early on, and the rest of the film wanders lazily around with no purpose.

As the young princess grows up, Maleficent seems to feel bad about her youthful villainy, and begins to care for her like some dark fairy godmother. The king turns into a Saturday morning cartoon bad guy, which is ironic considering the film is trying to show the complicated side of Maleficent, and the scenes between Jolie and Fanning basically use them as props for the CGI. Although Jolie serves up an incredible “A+” performance as the dread diva, it only emphasizes how unworthy the rest of the flick is of her glory. Our final verdict? Unfortunately, we give this wasted opportunity a “C+”.

Images courtesy of Disney.