Evil old woman shuns societal norms.

Maleficent-2

So after the perplexing success of Alice in Wonderland Hollywood has now decided that ‘dark re imaginings’ of much loved fairy tales is the order of the day. Maleficent follows Red Riding Hood, Jack the Giant Slayer, Hansel And Gretel: The Witch Hunters and Snow White and the Huntsman and like those films it has varying degrees of success.

Angelina Jolie has always had a bit of melodrama and panto about her so it is no surprise she is perfect in the titular role – Possibly still smarting from the enormous failure of The Tourist she really does put everything into her performance here and she carries the film throughout.

Sam Riley provides solid support despite being inexplicably Irish but there is little else to love about Maleficent. To be fair at just under one hour and forty minutes it never outstays its welcome and some of the visuals and effects are nice but the problem with all these films is that they say they are dark but they are not really are they?

Maleficent is no darker than Sleeping Beauty was. Thankfully Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) is at the helm for a new version of Pinocchio so that should raise the bar a bit.