This is “Sleeping Beauty” from Maleficent’s perspective. As a young fairy living in The Moors, Maleficent meets a human boy named Stefan (Sharlto Copley). As they get older, they remain friends until Stefan decides he’s really a power-hungry wannabe king and betrays Maleficent in exchange for the crown. When Stefan’s daughter Aurora (Elle Fanning) is born, Maleficent retaliates by putting a curse on the newborn, one that will have her slip into a deep sleep on her 16th birthday.
However, the story is secondary because prime importance is placed on the fact that Jolie dressing up as a Disney villain will draw a crowd. Minus the light 97-minute running time, there isn’t a single redeeming quality to “Maleficent.” It’s a harsh assessment, but when you’ve got such a talented visual effects artist at the helm, iconic source material, an all-star cast and a hefty studio-sized budget to back it all up, there’s just no excuse to deliver such a lazy film.
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