I always wondered what Disney would do after the epic fail that was called Alice in Wonderland (2013). Would they finally learn from their mistakes and stop remaking their own classics in unnecessary live-action? Nope. Instead we got another piece of cinematic trash. I guess they thought remaking another classic in Tim Burton’s fashion (without Tim Burton) was a good idea. The result is quite…. painful.
I’ve said it before, Disney’s fatal flaws are: sequels, parents, and live-action. This movie only reinforces my theory. This film focuses too much on the designs and sense of wonder that it tries to beat into your brain. Subsequently, (much like Avatar) it fails when it comes to the story. I will give it credit that the premise is told from the villain’s point of view, and the visuals do look nice at some points. However, the overall reasons the plot is developed are either clichés, or unexplained coincidences. Heck, the whole reason Maleficent is evil is because she had her heart broken. I’m so sick of seeing this overused plot device! She was a young woman when she and Stefan broke up! Shouldn’t she be old enough to not freak out this much as to turn evil and make the woods much darker than whimsical? It’s weird that the movie tries to portray her as a protagonist, when later in the movie she curses the defenseless baby of the king to get her revenge. Look, there are some lines you do not cross when you are trying to portray the person we are supposed to be rooting for later in the film. Dooming an infant is one of them. Oh yeah, the boy from The Giver is here for no reason. He comes out of nowhere and does absolutely nothing. They instead decide to rip off Frozen’s way of fixing the problem (FYI, it’s pretty creepy here). Almost all of the characters are either: uninteresting, lazily developed, or have the IQ of The Three Stooges (the fairies are just awful).
I must acknowledge the other reason Maleficent lost her cool, and I also must question how little weight it carries. Soon to be King Stefan cuts off her wings, and that is the final straw for Maleficent. Before I continue, allow me to give some examples of what her powers can and did accomplish. She turns a bird into a human, makes a spell so powerful not even she can reverse it, she creates gigantic tree roots to cover the entire edge of the woods, and she even transforms the whole forest into a more Harry Potter-ish dark forest. Yet, she for some reason, she cannot make her wings grow back? In one scene she makes knights fly around with her (unexplained) super powers. How can she not make herself fly then? The comedy of this film is pretty bad (again, the fairies), the story is childish (even for a kids movie), and although the CGI and sets look pretty impressive, they are not enough to carry the story to the end. I will give Ms. Jolie credit, her performance is decent. Sadly though, that is drowned out by Elle Fanning’s annoying acting.
Well, looks like we have another one to add to the ever growing list of bad Disney live-action: Inspector Gadget, Bridge to Terabithia; The Odd Life of Timothy Green; and of course, (I’m gritting my teeth as I say this one) Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. This gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a C-.