Walt Disney Pictures
May 30th, 2014
Release Length : 97 Minutes
Maleficent is Disneys big hope for a summer blockbuster. Taking a twist on a previous film of theirs and changing it does Disney succeed in crafting something anew from it or instead is this one of summers early failures?
We follow Maleficent, a beautiful child fairy at the time decides to become friends with a human boy even with there being troubles between the magical forest and it’s creatures and the humans. Over time though what Maleficent thinks is a blooming love relationship one day turns into a nightmare for her as while she is sleeping the boy cuts her wings off. Once she awakens to this she falls into such an anger and despair that she builds a wall between the humans land and the forest forever closing the gap between them. Fast forward into the future and that boy she once knew has completely grown up and become king. Maleficent soon however arrives and places a spell on the kings child that she will fall into a deep sleep only to woken by true loves kiss. The child is then moved into protection and while Maleficent watches over the child from afar she soon discovers that not only is the child not evil but could actually be the key to saving her.
Now one problem with Maleficent is that it’s just not a story anyone asked for. For the most part without looking into the almost blatantly obvious undertones the story is generic and plays out to that. Good girl turns evil, finds the sweetness in another girl, turns good again after taking down the true evil. Now for the “true evil” in the film, the male characters. This film 110% plays it off that not only are men evil but they will take away a woman’s uniqueness and make her plain. There isn’t a single male character in here that is good in the slightest, I can’t even say the character “Diaval” is because he is simply Maleficent’s slave. They even have a strong symbolism to rape in the film which even furthers portrays the men as evil.
Thankfully the film itself is gorgeous. The team that did the CGI will most likely win awards for it. Even in the films drastic differences between a lively bright and colorful world and dark dampened world its stunning to look at. Throw in some fantastic action scenes that rival some of the top fantasy films (which they also rip heavily off of) and the film thankfully has something to go off of.
If only the characters and acting were as good however. Angelina Jolie as Maleficent is easily the best role in the film, with that being said however she still isn’t great. She looks great and plays the role well but her cheekbones are disturbing almost. The dip in her face sometimes makes her look like a monster (and could technically get their own name in the credits as it’s own character). As I stated since any of the male characters who actually get lines are portrayed as evil and vial beings I took almost no notice to them for the most part. The three tiny CGI fairies that occupy some of the film are horrible to look at and hear as well.
Overall Maleficent succeeds at looking like a good movie but Disney took a far step that wasn’t needed with this one. Trying to re brand an old story with a twist only to underline it with so many anti-male and rape undertones hurt the film more than it should. It also doesn’t help that the film itself is boring for anyone over the age of 12 I’d assume. The action scenes are too far apart to hold interest between. I just can’t recommend this one.