The 2014 Sleeping Beauty is mediocre at best in pretty much every capacity, but at least I got a few laughs out of it. It's no 'The Room', but there's a chuckle or two in there.
This is just your average, run of the mill fairytale. Only with zombies and badly rendered CGI monsters. The prince is kind of a jerk this time and the princess is in the movie even less than in the original.
So the queen and king of Magicfantasyland have a baby daughter and hold a ceremony in the courtyard. The three good fairies are busy blessing her with vague, useless gifts like "truth" instead of chainsaw arms when an evil fairy (now Tambria rather than Maleficent) bursts in and curses the child to be pricked by a spindle before her 16th birthday. Years later, instead of hiding her way on her 16th, her parents take her to a party and let her run off with some dude. And hey, he just happens to have a spindle. As you may guess, trouble ensues.
Somewhere close by, a bratty prince and his goons are picking on his whipping boy (the prince is like 24 by the way). The whipping boy has been receiving poetry from Sleeping Beauty and has fallen in love with her. The brat prince discovers her kingdom's plight and runs off to face the evil Tamera and her gang of monster zombies-- goons and whipping boy in tow.
- The writing is bland and amateurish. Half the time, I wasn't sure whether to blame the actors or the script for a particularly terrible line. There's only so much you can do to make junk sound passable. And the exposition... Oh, the exposition.
- The plot. The story is pretty simple, but there are so many unanswered questions. Like, where is the prince's kingdom? Why do we never see it? Why does the prince have a whipping boy? Does everyone in this land get spankings at his age? What do you need another kingdom for? Don't you already have one? And as for the princess, why would you want to touch the tip a spindle-- curse or no? How did you write those letters while sleep? Why did the characters shed established personality traits and prejudices like a change of clothes? Why weren't the plot devices wearing their disguises? (I'm looking at you conveniently omnipresent commoner girl)
-The acting. I often wondered if some of these actors were reading from a teleprompter. I've never heard people fail so hard at expressing emotion. Though I suppose I'd be a hollow shell of a person if I were cast in this too. The Maleficent stand in (Olivia d'Abo) is flat which is a shame considering the potential in a role like that. The prince (Edward Lewis French) is given terrible material at best and extremely annoying at his worst. I believe Sleeping Beauty's mother may take the cake in the bad acting department. I almost wished she had more screen time.The sheer lack of damns given was remarkable.
- The filmography. The filming was clumsy and sometimes confusing. I'm no filming expert and I typically don't notice bad camera work. If I noticed it this time, there's definitely a problem.
Okay, I'm really scraping the bottom here...
The musical score. I didn't really notice it. So it couldn't have been that bad, right?
The good fairies. The good fairies were no where near as annoying as the fairies in 'Maleficent'. And just to make sure of that, one of them was taken care of during the opening sequence and the other two were hardly seen again. Definitely an improvement.
Barrow (Finn Jones) didn't annoy me as the lead and actually did a decent job of playing the annoyed whipping boy the whole time. Though I had a hard time telling if this was actually good acting or if he was actually annoyed the whole time. I mean what with being involved in this mess and being tricked into sating the director's weird whipping boy fetish, who knows?
The ending. Everyone loves a good twist. But mostly, I was just happy that it was over.