Brief Reviews: Maleficent

August 28th, 2012, 3pm

If you’ve considered seeing Maleficent,… don’t? I mean, unless you’re one of those Disney people. You might like it then. If you don’t think about it too much.

Here’s the thing: Angelina Jolie’s costume and makeup (sans her lipstick which kept changing shape) should not be the best part of a movie with this much budget, this much Sharlto Copley, and this much potential for bad-ass character development. There’s something inherently interesting about exploring the motives of villains—we want to understand what they did and why they did it. But when the story-telling solution to that is to include a bunch of voice-overs and lots of extended visual scenes (in some ways, this was a bit like having your parent read you a bedtime story—beautiful sweeping images, someone ambiguous reading you the story, and a huge lack of depth below that)… well, you’re going to struggle to get me on board.

I guess this is technically a children’s movie, though I’d argue that there’s a lot of darkness and potentially intense material that might make children uncomfortable: apparently the child in the above photo is actually Jolie’s own daughter, since no other child could stay calm in the room with her when she was fully done up in her makeup. But they take a dragon and pull the teeth out, in the hopes that it will appeal to more parents rather than fully committing to either audience and telling a good story.

I think on the whole, Disney is fishing around for stories—there are some really great things coming out of the castle, but they also think than somehow making weakly-developed live action, CGI-infested revamps of classic stories will keep them on top forever. I’m not sold, even though I shelled out the money for this at the box office.

P.S. Don’t get me started on Sharlto Copley… what was he thinking? The dude’s a rock star and this is what he picked? Hollywood must be tough for job-hunting right now…

David Wade said thanks.

Share this moment

Valerie Stimac

Constraints create lots of great things, diamonds and creativity among them.

Create a free account

Have an account? Sign in.

Sign up with Facebook