Maleficent (2014) Movie Review

Maleficent (2014)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Angelina Jolie in Maleficent (2014)

Magnificent for Now

A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal - an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces a battle with the invading king's successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom - and perhaps to Maleficent's true happiness as well - Written by Walt Disney Pictures

"Maleficent" is the sort of movie which is an out and out crowd pleaser, it has stars, it has effects, it even has an interesting spin on a recognizable fairytale. But "Maleficent" is the sort of modern crowd pleaser which whilst audiences rave about now will likely be discarded to the back shelves of people's DVD collections when the next fairytale movie comes along which has even bigger effects or features the latest top star. It isn't me being harsh just realistic as the history of cinema is filled with these sorts of impressive movies which don't have the longevity of true classics which still entertain decades after they were first released.

Now please don't get me wrong as I did enjoy "Maleficent", a lot more than I expected to, and it does give you a bit of everything. As such there is Angelina Jolie in fine form whilst Sharlto Copley seems to be channelling some Mel Gibson and as for Elle Fanning, well she gives us the sort of innocent bubbliness which is sweet but to be honest, borderline annoying. And there are some of the finest special effects I have encountered in a modern movie and I say that because whilst there are some seriously spectacular scenes, this is a movie which thankfully uses them to tell the story rather than to just wow and distract the audience from the storyline or in most cases the lack of storyline.

But it is the storyline where "Maleficent" soars as we have the familiar "Sleeping Beauty" with a few variations but a focus on a character's back story which really works. And whilst I am sure other movies have tried to do similar this one certainly does the best job of giving us a fairytale characters back story.

What this all boils down to is that "Maleficent" is a very good movie and as I said a lot better than I expected. But this is one of those movies which whilst entertaining now is unlikely to have the same appeal in a few years when another special effects movie comes along.