Maleficent - Recap Review

What's good

- Great casting choice and performance of Angelina Jolie
- Overall concept and visual style
- Extends the original fairytale with some new twists and a deeper backstory, making for...
- ...a nice, new and heartwarming interpretation of the story's moral

What's bad

- Inconsistent effects quality
- Ultimately fairly simple and predictable story
- Most of the side-characters remain very one-dimensional (especially compared to Jolie)
(- The comedy might easily be too kid oriented for some viewers)


- Why is Maleficent given such a negative name even when she was just an innocent little kid?

The Verdict

Maleficent is overall a (for the most part) very straight-forward and traditional feel-good movie mostly targeted towards younger viewers.
While the movie obviously shows that it primarily wants to be a fairytale, and therefore overly rational thinking and logical plot points are mostly not present (duh!), the movie still surprises with a not too meaty but interesting backstory that succesfully makes the popular villain Maleficent a misunderstood tragic figure in the wake of the movie's own interpretation of the famous original story.
With that said, Maleficent's sheer overall concept, great lead performance by Angelina Jolie and new final moral of the story are quite something nice that will most probably still let viewers leave the theater with a heartwarming feel.
Yet, however ambitious Maleficent's new take on the fairytale might seem, it's undeniably hampered by nearly all of the side-characters being out-performed by Jolie and left very one-dimensional.
Regarding the additionally pretty silly kid-oriented comedy and the story's overall simplicity, the movie obviously didn't want to get too dark and complex for kids to comprehend and therefore decided to make such unfortunate cuts in other characters' depths and developments.

Maleficent's new and ambitious approach to alter the famous fairytale's moral by focussing on the main villain as a tragic figure is a great idea that sadly isn't given the chance to expand its full potential. Due to being a Disney movie, Maleficent unfortunately holds back quite a lot in terms of complexity to still be able to appeal to young viewers and qualify as a feel-good movie.
And in that regard, Maleficent is exactly that: an interesting, straight-forward, traditional Disney feel-good movie. It's just, that it could've been even more than just that.

Final Verdict: 5 out of 10

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