"MALEFICENT" from Disney Pictures in 2D, Digital 3D, Real 3D and IMAX 3D opens Fri., May 30, 2014.
STARRING: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton and Juno Temple.
DIRECTOR: Robert Stromberg (directorial debut)
SYNOPSIS: Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent (Jolie) cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king's newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora (Fanning) is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.
Disney hardly ever revamps any of their most beloved films which makes this a real treat. It's far more reliant on special effects than was "Snow White and the Huntsman" (which was a Universal Films production). This one is strictly Disney and features an actress who excels at being twisted and evil, namely Angelina Jolie. She was the only actress considered for this part and it is by far the most spectacular production she's ever tried. She deserves special credit just for the time she spent in make-up and wardrobe. Beyond that, she's flat out great at being this character.
Also great is the talented sister of Dakota Fanning, Elle. She has a more acutely developed talent for getting into the character she is portraying and she nails this part incredibly well. This is even better than her performance in "Super 8".
Best of all, the special effects were designed by the legendary Rick Baker. His credits date back to 1971 and include "Star Wars IV: A New Hope", "The Fury", "An American Werewolf in London", "Batman Forever", "X-Men: The Last Stand", "Cursed" and all three "Men in Black". His work here is amazing and might earn him more awards.
Some people might leave the theater slightly disappointed in the lack of depth of the story but the acting and effects make up for that. It is, after all, only make believe.