I just watched Maleficent at my daughter’s behest, and the entire family agreed it was a complete waste. Rotten Tomatoes is overly generous with its rating, crediting Jolie with a fine performance (yes, it should be — she gets to be hero AND villain!) and the movie with too much CGI (probably its only good point). Entertainment Weekly gives it a B-. IMDB gives it a 7.3. That’s a C. Getting closer! Commonsense Media says, “the movie is a bit of a letdown.” Nope, it is a major letdown. I guess most of the critics were scared of Disney and wanted to make sure they’d keep whatever perks they get from their positions, because they all slap a lukewarm “nice try” on the film. And this film sucked worse than Black Cauldron. Some reviews that got it right are Bad Witch, Worse Movie by Rich Juzwiak at Gawker. Thank you Rich! I’ll listen to you next time! Two other reviews that were dead on were Brad Brevet, who described it as, “A painfully tiresome bore,” and MaryAnn Johansen, who says, “None of Maleficent makes any sense, not even on its own small terms.” Dead on there, MaryAnn!
Now, let me just say that this review is full of spoilers, so if you are going to go see the movie, for goodness sake, save your money! If you’re still going to see it, well, you’ve been warned and you probably shouldn’t read further until after the movie when you’re as angry as I am now.
I really can’t believe this stinker made money. What is weird is that it made a lot more overseas than it did in the States, over twice as much. As of June 1, 2014, the movie had made $170 million gross, while it cost $180 million. By Sept. 11, the film had made $239 million. Japan seems to have liked it the most overseas. Maybe they just have too much money to spend? Quit encouraging these folks, people!
The story is the chief reason this movie is completely boring and annoying. Angelina Jolie plays Maleficent, the dramatic villain from the mediocre Disney flick Sleeping Beauty. The only good part of the original movie was the three fairies, so of course they are trashed in this movie, made in stupid, silly traitors to the fey, who can’t do anything right. Maleficent is first the charming girl faerie who is betrayed and maimed by a young man whom she loves. She then becomes an evil faerie, curses the man’s daughter, and makes all the other faeries afraid of her. Then she becomes really petty, and goes over the house of the three fairies to make it rain (indoors) on them. She goes on to save Aurora’s life not once but twice (why?!?). First, the three stupid fairies don’t figure out Aurora needs to be fed milk and leave her for a full day without food. Not sure how she survives the dehydration, and I definitely don’t want to know what her bedsores look like after being left in her diaper for several years, but Maleficent gets tired of the baby crying (why doesn’t she just go home to the moor?) and sends her crow to feed the kid. Later, Aurora is about to walk over a cliff while the three stupid fairies are fighting, and Maleficent saves her again. If I was a writer on this film, I’d demand that my name be left off the credits. Yikes!
It gets worse. Aurora loves Maleficent whom she thinks is her fairy godmother (pretty much, actually), then guesses the Maleficent is the evil one who cursed her (how did she guess? no clue – the writers were getting drunk that day), then hates her after being cared for and protected by her for all of her life (huh?), then flees back to her loving father, who jails her. Naturally, Maleficent saves the day, kills the father, and Aurora is just peachy keen happy with that. My only explanation is that one of the fairies gave her perpetual happiness, which seems to have the effect of keeping her perpetually stoned and unable to think straight.
Maleficent is Superwoman, by the way. Iron burns Faeries, but not for long, and by the end of the movie Maleficent is handling red hot iron without any real difficulty. Not only that, her wings that were cut off her earlier now fly back, reattach and save the day! Yay wings! Oh, and if you haven’t seen the movie yet — I did warn you about the spoilers earlier.
And frankly, they should have figured this one was not going to be a winner when they were doing shooting. Maleficent’s makeup kept scaring little girls and that should have told them something. They had to use Angelina’s daughter as the very young Aurora, so she wouldn’t be scared. Did anyone else notice they made Maleficent’s costume less scary for that scene (see below), and then she went back to basic black? Of course, they could have just done it with CGI, but I guess being Angelina has its perks. Oh, by the way, Angelina ends the movie in a cat suit. Hilarious!