Jolie is sublime. She gives the movie its verve and purpose yet no one else seemed to get the memo. Maleficent was a tremendous character but all that made her so irresistible has been removed and neutered.
The script plays it safe, the supporting cast – Fanning and Copley especially – deliver uninspiring one-dimensional performances, and the narrative lacks energy and direction. This culminates in Maleficent being bland and humourless.
What’s so frustrating is they had the opportunity to deliver a sensational new take on a classic tale. Instead they produced an uncharacteristically shallow and underwhelming final product. She should soar, not stumble.
If you’re after a classic Disney princess story given a modern retelling with heart, humour and effects aplenty, watch Enchanted. For something more underwhelming, it’s Maleficent.
CAST: Angelina Jolie, Sam Riley, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Imelda Staunton
DIRECTOR: Robert Stromborg
WRITER: Linda Woolverton
SYNOPSIS: A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.