Wednesday 28 May 2014

Maleficent review

Maleficent (PG, 97 mins)
Director: Robert Stromberg
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Disney re-imagines its own Sleeping Beauty story with this flipside told from the point of view of supposed villain, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie, who does just fine as a demon-witch with a soft side). A clunky start introduces us to warring kingdoms, one where Maleficent is a young fairy living contentedly, the other a land of greedy humans out for power. She turns dark after being betrayed by the future king and curses his baby daughter, Aurora (who grows into Elle Fanning) to fall into an eternal sleep on her 16th birthday. With a lot of frippery needed to pad out a wandering midsection that’s a mess of half-baked developments with nowhere really to go, this demonstrates that origin stories are largely a waste of time. The surrogate mother relationship between Maleficent and Aurora has some value though, and represents the film’s strongest card, even if it has rather had its thunder stolen by Frozen in that regard. It mostly looks great, with lavish castles and decent battles, though it’s too often smothered in dodgy CG creatures and the Scottish accents are honking.

1 comment: