When it comes to Maleficent, I’m a fan. She’s my favorite Disney Villian. I was so excited to see her get the “villains are misunderstood” treatment in 2014 that I don’t actually remember if it was a good film. I just remember that I walked out loving it. Now that I’ve seen Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, I feel kind of the same. I don’t know that it was a good film, but I still kind of loved it.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil picks up a few years after the events of Maleficent. Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) proposes to Aurora (Elle Fanning), and her godmother Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is less than pleased. The hatred between man and fairy still exists, and Maleficent is not willing to watch her goddaughter leave the moors to become the future Queen of Ulstead.
During a “meet the parents” dinner, Maleficent and her companion Diaval (Sam Wiley) travel outside of the moors to dine with King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). Maleficent’s temper is tested, the king is cursed, and the true action of the film begins.
Following a hasty retreat from Ulstead, Maleficent encounters the Dark Fey, a group of winged creatures exiled from the human world. Some of the fey desire peace with humans, while others are ready for war. Unkown to the fey, Queen Ingrith desires war, too.
If you walk into Maleficent: Mistress of Evil expecting a classic fairy tale, prepare for disappointment. Mistress of Evil is, at least in the third act, a war movie. I’m still not sure of everyone’s motivations, which was my biggest complaint. I’m far too pedantic for a muddled plot to make me truly happy. Since it’s a war movie, you should probably expect violence. What you might not expect is just how violent it is. It wasn’t bloody or gory, but the body count in this movie was shockingly high. One scene with Queen Ingrith’s engineer Gerda (Jenn Murray) bordered on fairy torture.
The film excels when it comes to the performances. This is especially true with the deliciously evil turns by both Michelle Pheiffer and Angelina Jolie. The costumes are stunning to the point of distraction. The CGI was a little heavy-handed here and there, but there were some genuinely beautiful scenes in the film.
Is Maleficent: Mistress of Evil appropriate for children? That’s a hard question to answer since it will really depend on the child. The movie was extremely violent with a lot of death. That said, it was “fantasy death” and those who died disappeared into a puff of smoke. Kids who are into superhero movies probably won’t bat an eye. Kids who are fairly sensitive might need to sit this one out.
For all of my criticisms, I do think Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is worth a trip to the theater. It’s far from perfect, but it’s still a whole lot of fun.
About Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a fantasy adventure that picks up several years after Maleficent, in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney’s most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora. The film continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within. The film is directed by Joachim Rønning from a story by Linda Woolverton and a screenplay by Linda Woolverton and Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster, the film is produced by Joe Roth, Angelina Jolie and Duncan Henderson with Matt Smith, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Michael Vieira serving as executive producers.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil enters theaters on October 18, 2019.