copyright © Jedo Dre 2011
When I was a young boy (hold on, I am going somewhere with this) I drew fan comics of Batman. I liked Tim Burton's Batman but my rebellious nature and dislike of authority made me dream that Batman was not just a slave to the people of Gotham. In my comics the authoritarian police was evil and Batman used his fancy toys to slaughter a bunch of them. I had issues... But had I ever brought my unique idea to the big screen, it would probably not have been very popular. I know, because I see Maleficent suffering from a number of issues, despite being a good film overall.
This film feels very forced at times, especially in the first half. Angelina Jolie knows her stuff and she is really glorious in all her overacting, but her character is made to turn so sudden and unnatural and a lot of the dialogue given to her is so simple that it seems like the fan who was writing this fan story has not quite found the balance yet between the original material and his vision.
The character of Maleficent in Disney's animated film was designed from the start as an evil's character. This film has decided to keep that design and also keep the design of Maleficent's surroundings, constantly bringing in bits and pieces from the original story. So when it then tries to mess with the established design, it just feels odd. On top of the contradicting visual design, Maleficent is simply known to the current generation as cartoonishly evil because it was engraved into our minds from childhood, so seeing the concept meddled with is doubly as weird because of that.
After the initial bumpy start, though the flow of the movie does get better but Maleficent does not ever rise above being just good.
There are plenty of pretty visuals since there is a whole fairy world, complete with mandatory different colored lights shining in the dark. There is a ton of CGI and we are now entering the age when CGI looks quite good even in an average movie. The things is, we are also entering an age where those of us who have already seen a lot of CGI are also not as impressed by it. Some of us value good characters and good props more.
Angelina Jolie acts well and she occupies most of this movie so that is good, but the rest of the characters are very average. None of them act badly, but none of them are memorable either. The story is OK, as you already know what it is and the one twist is also the main premise so you know that too.
If you need some movies to watch at a gathering of friends, there is nothing wrong with picking this one. It is acceptable. However, I question how many people will remember it a year from now.
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