Note: Spoilers ahead!
I was excited to see Maleficent, especially in theaters. It was very visually appealing and the trailer looked cool.
But I didn’t come out of the theater feeling completely blown away or enlightened by some warm yellow light of epiphanies or even mildly impressed.
Don’t get me wrong, the visual effects are impressive and Angelina Jolie looks wonderfully Maleficent.
And also the dragon was cool.
But the plot line…the plot line!
You would think it would be a captivating plot line. Maleficent tells the story of what really happened to Maleficent, the villain in Sleeping Beauty. It starts out with Maleficent’s happy childhood living in the moors of this fantasy land where the fairies and humans are separated because of arguments. That’s when Maleficent befriends this poor farmer boy (Sharlto Copley), who becomes her first love.
Obviously it doesn’t work out because there wouldn’t be a movie if it did.
At some point, the humans begin to attack the fairies, but Maleficent is totally badass and drives them away with her wings then uses her magic to make this wall of thorns.
The king of the humans conveniently is old and sick and about to die. Farmer Boy is also conveniently in the room when the king announces that whoever kills Maleficent gets to be king.
Then Farmer Boy goes to warn Maleficent and they run away together and happily ever after, right?
No, because we were only thirty minutes into the movie.
Instead, Farmer Boy cuts off Maleficent’s wings and tells the king that he killed her. Sounds a bit like Snow White, right? Anyways, Farmer Boy eventually becomes the king.
And that’s when Maleficent becomes this super evil villain who’s out to get revenge. And then the whole cursing Aurora (Elle Fanning) thing that goes on.
Very touching story, I know. My eyes are brimming with sparkling tears as I write this. At this point in the movie, I was still intrigued. But as it went on, I became much less intrigued.
Everything about the movie had so much Disney flair that it all just fell flat. I could almost predict the entire plot. (Not as well as low budget horror and alien films, but I was pretty close.) Aurora grew up into this wonderful and beautiful teenager who’s always happy and kind and caring and for some strange reason not angsty at all despite living with three crazy fairies who are on the lowest part of the scale in terms of mothering.
Like, that’s cool and all, Aurora, being all happy all the time, but honestly, you just don’t have character. Happy is your character and that’s the furthest thing from realistic that I can imagine.
Speaking of not having character, Prince Phillip (Brenton Thwaites), though extremely cute in a slightly scruffy high school boy sort of way, is about as useful as a cardboard cutout. He spends more than half of his already short screen time unconscious as Maleficent takes him to the castle. Then his kiss doesn’t even work.
The whole Maleficent-waking-up-Aurora thing. I’m sure it used to be creative, but as this point, it’s become pretty much as cliche as “true love’s first kiss.” Sorry, but Frozen already stole your thunder on how true love doesn’t have to be romantic love.
Conclusion: Though Angelina Jolie looks striking in her emphasized cheekbones as she sits among the land of fairies, aka computer generated visual effects, the story itself is so Disney that it has become boring and rather flat and stale. But bonus points for the dragon and attractiveness of Prince Phillip, even if he is practically a cardboard cutout. 6/10.