Maleficent was a pleasurable surprise. Solid entertainment with a fun story, great SFX and a talented cast. Angelina Jolie has quite a screen presence as the title character, a vengeful fairy rejected and betrayed by her first love, a human boy. Jolie is the whole package, a bona fide movie star as well as an actress. That’s rare these days—she can put butts in seats, but can still chew the scenery and infuse the character with life. Sharto Copely plays Stefan, the boy who betrays Maleficent for a chance to become king, in an odd but effective performance. Elle Fanning is Aurora, the sleeping beauty that is destined to doom the kingdom to endless snoozing. There are no surprises as the story unfolds, just everyone doing what they do to the height of their considerable abilities. Jolie dominates the screen with her malevolence and then slightly less malevolence. There is a nice twist to the story dealing with the proverbial “true love’s kiss” to awaken the beautiful princess. In the end, Maleficent is an engaging diversion I really enjoyed.
Rating: ***1/2 stars out of 5