The Horror Honeys: Don't Believe the Fairy Tale...

Don't Believe the Fairy Tale...

A Supernatural Honey Review

Maleficent (2014)

Let me begin by saying, I was not super jazzed about seeing this movie. I am not a fan of Angelina Jolie. I think she’s overrated as an actress and her bizarre behavior over the course of her career is offputting. One minute she’s making out with her creepy brother and now she’s Mother Theresa, saving the world, one orphan at a time, now with a British accent. But I digress…

Everyone should be familiar with the story of Sleeping Beauty. If not, well, that’s saying something about your childhood, but this isn’t the version you grew up with. With a backstory on Maleficent and how she went from a hopeful young fairy to a vindictive, evil witch, felt like something out of a Gregory McGuire novel.

I dug the backstory. She was the largest of the fairies and very powerful, but kind, keeping peace in the moors, a place where humans never go. She meets a young boy named Stefan and they strike up an unlikely friendship that lasts for years and turns into love, at least for Maleficent. Stefan is ambitious and wants to rule as king, so when an opportunity arises, he betrays Maleficent and she gets all revenge-y, cursing his daughter, the Princess Aurora. Only “true love’s kiss” can break the curse and Maleficent knows from experience that true love does not exist. Ain’t that the truth?

You are perfect. We all know it. 
Then the unexpected happens. In this version, Maleficent (Jolie) spends the next 16 years watching over Aurora (Elle Fanning) and developing real feels for the girl, becoming a surrogate mom/fairy godmother. While the relationship that develops is touching, it’s not what is supposed to be. I did not
sign up for another Steel Magnolias. It becomes predictable and sappy.

I would be lying if I said Jolie wasn’t a perfect Maleficent. Aside from looking the part, she portrays a perfect combination of vulnerability, humor and viciousness. Sadly, she’s just not vicious for very long. The makeup, done by the master, Rick Baker, was actually quite stunning.
Maleficent’s nemesis, King Stefan, is overacted by Sharlto Copley (District 9). There is nothing charming or even likable about this character. As someone who was supposed to be a lifelong friend, he thought nothing of using that friendship to gain favor and power. When he’s called on his bullshit, he blames his victim. Even toward the end, he seems to care nothing for his daughter and is just bent on destroying Maleficent.
From the Elijah Wood School of Doesn't Age!
The rest of the cast gave what was needed to pull off the story. Fanning was perfectly acceptable as Aurora and Sam Riley, who stared as Diaval, Maleficent’s sidekick delivered the eye candy, as well as sound council to his mistress. He was also a crow, a horse, a wolf and a fire-breathing dragon.

There was an extreme amount CG here, as you might expect, but it’s done well and doesn’t seem too out of place with the live action. This screening was also in 3D, which I normally hate, but this was done in a way that simply enhanced the look of the film and did not have me leaving with a migraine.

As far as action goes, there is a fair amount. The first battle scene between the King’s soldiers and the creatures of the moors was on par with the stuff we saw in LOTR, before Peter Jackson got too heavy handed with the CGI. The final battle between Maleficent and Stefan is dark and satisfying.
Hehehe, fairy scowl.

Overall, it was typical Disney fare, lovely to look at, an amazing score, and a few pull out your hanky moments. I just wish there was a little less fairy in this tale.

Since this is Disney, I’m grading on a bigger scale.

Supernatural Honey Rating: 7 sleeping princesses out of 10