What works and what doesn't work in Angelina Jolie's new take on 'Sleeping Beauty'
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Worst: The sub-"Frozen" kiss twist
It's always a good idea to shake up the nauseating prince/damsel trope, but "Maleficent"s climactic twist on the "Sleeping Beauty" kiss -- where it's Maleficent's kiss, not the prince's, that boasts the true love necessary to wake Aurora -- is telegraphed so early on that it feels obligatory by the time we get to it. One problem is that our prince is a cipher (with gorgeous Kristy McNichol hair, to be fair) in a minor role. We just aren't betting on him to save anybody. But worse, the kiss happens to be the same twist from "Frozen" and, earlier, "Once Upon a Time." I can appreciate the empowering sentiment, but as a thrilling climax it doesn't deliver. And did I mention that Aurora is only asleep for about six minutes?
- Louis Virtel