Maleficent – movie review

MaleficentGrade: B-

After seeing what Maleficent – Angelina Jolie – looked like in the previews I had hopes this was going to be a strictly adult oriented movie. That’s not the case. The movie, especially the first 30 minutes, is very much oriented toward children.

There is a frequent voice over that tells us what’s going on, who people are, and why they do the things they do. Starting out the story is very heavy handed – like reading a kids book.

It starts to get better, after about 30 minutes, and improves right to the end. So starting out I thought, “Oy, I’m going to have to sit through 90 minutes of this?” By the end I wished the movie could have gone on a little longer. But, like many movies oriented for children, it’s just less than 90 minutes long – not counting the credits.

I wasn’t particularly impressed with Elle Fanning, as Aurora. She wasn’t bad, but didn’t exactly impress.

Sharlto Copley, as Stefan, was also less than inspiring. For one thing he has a thick South African accent and was pretty much the only character in the story with any accent whatsoever. That seemed oddly out of place.

Fortunately Angelina Jolie was fantastic. She added subtleties to Maleficent that created a sympathetic character, exactly as the role required.

Robert Stromberg, the director, brought a nice vision to the movie, contrasting the world of man with the magical world, but I’m not sure he got everything out of his actors that they may have had to offer.

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