BULLSEYE OR MISFIRE: Maleficent Reviews
By Drax Largo on May 30th, 2014
Whatever its flaws, “Maleficent” is a family-friendly Disney adventure that offers a relaunched and thoroughly delightful Angelina Jolie …
It hardly matters that Jolie’s accent rambles a bit between pungent Cockney and plummy Buckingham Palace.
In the blood-red lipstick and midnight-black gown and cowl of her Sleeping Beauty antecedent, Jolie’s Maleficent is magnificent.
“Maleficent” is rather good, mostly because of Jolie. She does grab your attention. But, overall, the movie lacks the Disney charm that has carried its fantasies – live action and animated – into the hearts and minds of viewers.
Instead of replicating classic Disney magic, Maleficent feels more like one of the CGI-cluttered fairy tale retellings of recent years.
For all the pixie dust and dragon fire in Maleficent, the most special effect throughout is Angelina Jolie, radiating imperious authority over a disorderly movie.
As a live-action twist on the Disney animated classic Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is a dark and engaging fable set in an imaginative and beautiful world. But none of that matters if not for Angelina Jolie in the title role.
Sleeping Beauty reloaded. Maleficent is darker than expected and an incredible visual experience.
The piercing blue eyes and pouting red lips of the stunning Angelina Jolie make a perfect “Maleficent.”
Among the lesser of the Sleeping Beauty story’s many incarnations, but at least it’s an ambitious failure.
There’s nothing much here for those outside the PG Disney Princess-aimed target market to sink their horns into.
Jolie, appearing in her first live-action film since 2010, must be and is the movie’s strongest asset.
As she did with Alice in Wonderland, screenwriter Linda Woolverton uses simplistic plotting and clumsy dialogue to turn a children’s story into an eerily dark Lord of the Rings-style effects extravaganza.
Skeptics will discount this new version of Maleficent, but with Jolie’s bravura performance and Fanning as precious as ever, it’s not hard to swallow this fairy tale.
Jolie displays an incredible propensity for being beautiful and menacing at the same time.
It’s transformed from a fairy tale into every movie you’ve ever seen about a curmudgeon who learns to open his/her heart and love an adorable child.